On August 30, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) celebrated the topping-out ceremony at Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier with more than 300 guests, all partner companies involved in the construction and project, and around 1,300 construction workers. The event, which was attended by Karen Pein, Senator in Hamburg’s Department of Urban Development and Housing, and Dr. Andreas Kleinau, Chief Executive Officer at HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, included more than just speeches and words of welcome. As a special highlight, Anne-Sophie Sancerre, Chief Customer and Retail Officer at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), also provided an update on the pre-letting rate for the future urban quarter in Hamburg’s HafenCity: For the retail, food & beverage and leisure rental areas, the rate now stands at 85 percent. This once again underlines the attractiveness and appeal of the location.
A construction site as exceptional as Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier also needs an exceptional topping-out ceremony: On August 30, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield therefore held an extensive celebration in Hamburg’s HafenCity. The ceremony began in the morning with more than 300 invited guests from the worlds of business, politics and society, as well as around 200 of the construction workers, all of whom are looking forward to the imminent opening of the quarter in the spring of next year. In order to get all of the 1,300 construction workers involved for the celebration, all of the other teams from the construction companies were also welcomed to the event area later in the afternoon. Andreas Hohlmann, Managing Director Austria & Germany at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, opened the event, guided through the festivities and thanked all partners and especially the construction workers on site.
The speeches of the day came from Karen Pein, Dr. Andreas Kleinau and Anne-Sophie Sancerre, who as Chief Customer and Retail Officer at URW is responsible for operations, marketing as well as the customer experience in all of the company’s destinations. In her speech, Anne-Sophie Sancerre once again emphasized the relevance of Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier as the urban heart of HafenCity and as a new vibrant place for the local community, all Hamburg residents and guests from far and near. In this context, URW announced that the pre-letting rate in the retail, f&b and leisure sectors has now reached 85 percent.
Karen Pein, Senator in the Department of Urban Development and Housing, said: “HafenCity is approaching completion with great strides – and Überseequartier, as the central quarter in Hamburg’s newest district, is gaining a much higher profile as of today. In addition to the existing residential and work opportunities in HafenCity, Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier already offers and will continue to offer even more cultural and leisure opportunities and, in addition, retail attracts with interesting concepts and ideas – shopping and gastronomy meet entertainment, fitness and leisure spaces for relaxation and recreation: “Mixed use” is what this is called today and makes the former harbor area an incomparable place for the people of Hamburg as well as for guests.”
Dr. Andreas Kleinau, Chief Executive Officer at HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, said: “Twenty years ago, this was still a rough harbor site, the old combined heat and power plant had just been demolished, and paper was still being handled at the Cellpap terminal until 2002. Today, with the topping-out ceremony, an important milestone for Westfield-Hamburg-Überseequartier can be celebrated. With its contemporary mix of living and working, new retail, cultural and leisure experiences, Überseequartier will enliven and complement the attractive offerings already available in HafenCity and today’s Hamburg city center. High-quality and partly spectacular architecture, the new cruise terminal and a public promenade will also make the new edge of the river Elbe a tangible experience for residents. But Überseequartier does not stand alone. It is important that we in Hamburg thus gain a new understanding of the city centre that comprises Neustadt, Altstadt and HafenCity. Überseequartier is a first stepping stone that connects these places through attractive routes and thus sets the preconditions for mutual inspiration from which everyone in the city centre will benefit.”
Anne-Sophie Sancerre, Chief Customer and Retail Officer of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier will be a vibrating meeting place in a sustainable, one-of-a-kind environment, creating local opportunities accessible to the community, the entire city and all visitors of the quarter. It is shaping the urban space of tomorrow, connecting places to live and work with attractive cultural offers and leisure facilities as well as innovative retail and entertainment concepts. With the topping-out ceremony, the upcoming completion is also in sight and we are looking forward to the opening in spring 2024 together with all our partners.”
Following the first festive act, including the ceremonial procedure, the rest of the day’s festivities were kicked off so that all of the 1,300 construction workers could be personally welcomed by the management team of the investor, project developer and later operator URW in order to celebrate this milestone together. In addition, all construction workers received an envelope with a personal thank you and a shopping voucher for REWE, URW’s partner in the quarter.
Exclusive brand and concept mix
Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier impresses with its versatile mix of uses and, especially in the areas of retail, f&b and leisure offerings, with its selection of international brands, new concepts and flagship formats. Among others, the Breuninger flagship store, BOSS, LACOSTE, Gant, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein characterize the premium fashion and lifestyle segment. Other world-renowned brands in fashion will also be represented. Zara is opening one of the brand’s largest flagship stores, Bershka, PULL&BEAR, Mango and H&M are also among the partners. The sneaker and streetwear segment will be strengthened by stores from JD Sports, SNIPES and Foot Locker. INTERSPORT Knudsen is also opening an innovative concept store in the quarter. In the perfumery and beauty segment, DOUGLAS and Rituals have signed lease contracts. Thalia is also moving into the quarter with an extraordinary flagship store overlooking the river Elbe. REWE and Budni will shape the daily needs retail segment.
Entertainment and cultural offerings are another focus of the concept mix. Here, Kinopolis’ premium multiplex cinema, LEGO Discovery Centre and the digital art center Port des Lumières stand out – in each case the companies’ first locations in the Hanseatic city.
The exclusive retail locations in the quarter are complemented by a wide range of food & beverage offerings. The mix of international names and local champions promises a constant stream of new culinary highlights. The overall concept is spread over three clusters and offers the right choice depending on taste, occasion and budget. Confirmed dining concepts already include Big Chefs, goa, Quan 36 as well as Lu Soufflé and New York Bagel Bar.
For the local HafenCity community, the people of the Hamburg metropolitan region, and all guests from far and near, the result is a place with a high quality of stay – for living, working, shopping and recreation.
Project development nears completion
The architecture of the 14 buildings at Westfield Hamburg-Überseequartier impresses with a unique mix of modernity and tradition. For this, renowned architects and interior design firms – from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam to Paris – came together to work on one of the most exciting inner-city construction projects in Europe. The implementation of their multifaceted designs is progressing continuously: The large construction of the glass roof, which will protect visitors, residents and tourists from wind and weather, is currently taking shape. At the same time, the facades of the 14 buildings are being erected and successively completed. In the meantime, windows are being installed in the buildings, so that the interior construction is increasingly gaining momentum.