ACROSS | The European Retail Real Estate Magazine

Development

SOMETHING NEW IS EMERGING IN NORTHERN BERLIN

Image: Kintyre

The Märkische Viertel in northern Berlin was regarded as a model development in the 1970s. At that time, large housing estates with high-rise apartment blocks were considered to be a positive urban development program.

The concept was to create a modern quality of life for all residents, with an outstanding working environment and above-average shopping, leisure and social amenities. The Märkische Viertel, with its around 17,000 apartments, was designed to house up to 50,000 people.

REGIONAL DRAWING POWER

When the Märkische Viertel was built, between 1963 and 1974, the district was part of West Berlin and was situated close to the Berlin Wall, away from the other parts of the city. However, after the fall of the wall, the district once again directly adjoined Pankow, the large eastern district. This had consequences not least for the district’s shopping centre, the “Märkische Zentrum”.

The shopping centre suddenly began to attract new visitors and shoppers from the densely-populated east of Berlin, as the drawing power of the Märkische Zentrum extended well outside the Märkische Viertel district.

 

REFURBISHMENT

This is exactly where the strategy of the new co-owner and asset manager, Kintyre Investments, is being implemented. The Märkische Zentrum is to be developed into the most attractive retail and services destination in the north of Berlin. Kintyre has a strong track record in repositioning shopping centres within Germany, with notable successful projects in Oberhausen, Bremen and Hanover.

Kintyre is planning the complete redesign of the Märkische Zentrum site, involving the refurbishment of the existing shopping centre and its surroundings. The existing buildings, currently providing 55,000 sq m, are to be extended by 7,000 sq m. A new housing complex is to be built and the existing medical centre expanded.

 

MARKET HALL

From 2022, the new Märkische Zentrum, which will be repositioned as a shopping, leisure and entertainment experience, will have at its heart a new, multifunctional market hall.

After the planned completion, the new covered market hall inside the shopping centre, which will be one of the largest in Berlin, will incorporate real market stalls. Regional retailers, market traders and café/restaurant concepts will offer an experience at the highest level of current shopping centre culture.

 

EDEKA

Even before construction started, EDEKA, Germany’s largest supermarket chain, had been attracted as anchor tenant. The retailer has taken a long lease on a 3,100 sq m store on the ground floor of the shopping centre.

Heino Schmidt, Head of Expansion at EDEKA Minden-Hannover: “Kintyre’s innovative concept for the redesign of the Märkische Zentrum won us over. When the reconfiguration works are completed, a hotspot in northern Berlin will have been created. We absolutely want to be represented there for our customers”.

 

URBAN RENEWAL

Adam Pearce, Partner at Kintyre, comments: “The Märkische Zentrum is more than just a shopping centre: it is the centre of the city district and has a drawing power over the entire region”.

In fact, the Märkische Zentrum will form part of one of the most important urban renewal projects in northern Berlin. The district authority and the housing association GESOBAU have carried out major planning and redevelopment works in the Märkische Viertel during the last ten years. The housing stock has been improved to state-of-the-art energy standards by investments of some 550 million Euro.

A few figures: 70.5% of the residents within 5 minutes’ drive live in individual houses. In the districts of Reinickendorf and Pankow, there is a population of 280,000 within 10 minutes’ drive.

 

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