For many years, the site of the former container terminal located between Mitte and Moabit was home to nothing more than the gusts of wind that blustered across barren mounds of sand. For many years, this area - the place where freight goods were stored in decommissioned warehouses and loaded onto ramps before the Second World War; where the first person to die at the Berlin Wall was killed attempting to flee via the harbor, was shrouded in an air of sadness. But all that is history! Numerous companies are now discovering this unique location, neighboring the Federal Chancellery and the main station, and are helping to create a new, modern urban district - Europacity.
Today, cranes swivel while construction fences narrow the streets and sidewalks along Heidestraße, between the curves of the River Spree to the south of the main station and the Perleberg Bridge to the north, flanked by Humboldthafen, the Spandau canal and Nordhafen (lit. North Harbor). Some construction projects have already been completed; others are still at the planning stage, while several are now beginning to take shape.
One example is "HumboldtHafenEins", the new home of auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers at Kapelle-Ufer 4. Construction work started on the project in 2013 and PwC celebrated the opening of its new office building, with space for all 850 members of staff in Berlin, in Summer 2015. Directly adjacent to this site, work on "The House of the Future" began this Summer. In it, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research hopes to unite citizens with politics, the economy and science. From 2017, it will present exhibitions relating to key issues for research and the future.
Steigenberger opened its latest 339-room luxury hotel at Washingtonplatz in 2014. The Intercity-Hotel, which has 412 rooms in total, has stood directly behind it since 2013. This Fall also saw the completion of the John F. Kennedy House, where real estate service providers Jones Lang LaSalle and law firm White & Case LLP are set to be taking up residence before the year is out.
On the other side of Invalidenstraße, the Amano Hotel opened in August of this year. Its main attraction is the exclusive bar on the seventh floor, complete with an expansive roof terrace and a glass balustrade through which business travellers and native Berliners alike will be able to enjoy views over the Humboldthafen and the Reichstag building. Behind it, the elevated skyline of Heidestraße is dominated by corporate headquarters, with the 69-meter-high tower building of oil giant Total Deutschland already stretching skywards and work on the company headquarters of network operator 50Hertz underway. Property company CA Immo plans to build two other office buildings next to the ‘Tour Total'.
It is not just hotels and office buildings that are being built in this chic, new quarter - 2,600 apartments are to be created over the course of the next few years. The first construction project has already been approved: around 500 new homes will be built to the east of Heidestraße. Retail units, restaurants and a daycare center with 65 places are also planned. Heidestraße itself is being developed into a boulevard, with walkways enlarged to seven meters wide and bordered by three rows of trees. There are also plans to create a large town square area, where people can enjoy a stroll and take in the surroundings.
Two new residential and corporate buildings with 190 apartments are also under construction at Humboldthafen - the perfect address for newcomers to Berlin with luxury tastes. Not only does Europacity boast a central location at the cutting edge of goings-on between the main station, government buildings and parliament, in future, the riverbank area will attract visitors with numerous shops and cafés, while the 200-year-old lime tree left standing on the site bears testament to this location's unique history.