Set in a formerly disused corner of Mitte, is Berlin’s most anticipated central development – Europacity.
This billion Euro regeneration is expected to change the way people work, live and play in their city. The area’s regeneration into a trendy, mixed-use urban space is a drawcard for foreign investors and a testbed for what can be achieved with investment in real estate and infrastructure.
Between 1945 and 1989, when the city of Berlin was politically, economically and geographically divided, the area that Europacity now occupies was considered a periphery zone. Stuck between East and West Germany, the location was left unused well after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of the German state.
“In 2008, the locality’s real estate potential was realized – prompting calls for developers to submit proposals to uplift the area. The winning design had created six distinct pockets, each with its own unique features and purpose,” explains George Radford, Head of Africa at IP Global, an end-to-end international real estate investment company.
He says the 61-hectare site is designed to be a new, modern neighbourhood between Berlin’s established suburbs of Mitte and Charlottenburg.
The project is expected to be completed by 2025, while a development of the same name, with different investors and features, has also been introduced outside Paris in France, with a similar completion date.
“In order to implement this concept in Germany, Berlin’s new Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) was built on a section of the site, opening up the area to the city’s extensive transport links,” says Radford, explaining that this drew businesses and residents to the area.
Radford points out that since the transport link was completed in 2006, large companies have snapped up office space.
KPMG has also chosen the site for its new headquarters, with developer CA Immo investing EUR 57 million in the construction of its building.
Once completed, Europacity will provide office space for roughly10 000 people, apartments for 2 000 residents, bars, restaurants and cultural spaces such as art centres.
“Developers wanted to incorporate modern art and design throughout the site,” Radford explains.
According to PwC’s 2018 Emerging Trends in Europe report, “the cornerstone of the German capital’s appeal is that while values are high in all of the main European cities, in Berlin they are widely considered to be sustainable, buoyed by rapid population growth and vigorous business expansion, with the technology sector at its forefront.”
Radford says recent trends show that buyers see Berlin as a sound investment destination.
“There are no restrictions on foreigners who want to buy homes, and the return on investment is excellent,” he concludes.