First groundbreaking ceremony for MesseCity Cologne

Construction of major development between train station Deutz/Messe and southern entry to Koelnmesse has started

Warburg-HIH Invest acquired building plots 1-3 with 60,000m² of total gross floor area on behalf of institutional investors

Construction of new buildings on the MesseCity fairground started today in Cologne. In the presence of many guests, mayor Henriette Reker, Dr Andreas Mattner, Managing Director ECE Projektmanagement, Rainer M. Schaefer, regional head Cologne of STRABAG Real Estate (SRE), Torsten Kuttig, Director Development ECE, Horst Nussbaumer, board member of Zurich Group Germany, Hans-Joachim Lehmann, Managing Director of Warburg-HIH Invest, Martin Oster of KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten and Andreas Kühn, managing partner of ASTOC Architects and Planners, symbolically turned the first spade in a groundbreaking ceremony. Overall, about 135,000 square metres of total gross floor area will be constructed on a c. 5.4 hectare site in Deutz, a district of Cologne.

Prior to the start of the works, the development partners SRE and ECE had signed an agreement with Zurich Group Germany at the beginning of May. The insurance group will rent about 60,000 square metres of office space in the western part of the new district. From 2019, about 2,700 employees of the insurance company will move into the new premises from their current offices in Cologne and Bonn. The three buildings intended for the group in the MesseCity will be built based on designs by architects KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten. Construction of these buildings starts at the same time as construction of the underground parking with 600 parking spaces in the western section.

The sale of the first building plots in Cologne’s MesseCity area to Warburg-HIH Invest was also completed before groundbreaking. Acting on behalf of institutional investors, the property investment manager acquired the building plots West 1 to 3 on which new buildings for Zurich Group with c. 60,000 square metres of overall office space will be erected. Warburg-HIH Invest is a leading investment company for institutional investors.

Overall, the development partners SRE and ECE and MesseCity Koeln are developing about 135,000 square metres of gross floor area on a 5.4 hectare building plot in Deutz, a district of Cologne situated on the eastern side of the river Rhine. The urban design by ASTOC Architects and Planners centres on the idea of a lively district with varied building types and opportunities create occupier visibility. Based on these aspirations, the jurors of the façade design competition selected four different architects on whose designs the development will be based. Six 7- to 16-storey buildings are proposed between the southern entry to the Koelnmesse fairground and the high-speed train station Deutz. They will house office space, hotels, restaurants, small-scale retailing for the needs of the area and possibly a cinema. There are also plans for underground parking with c. 1000 parking slots overall. A central raised fairground plaza will be at the heart of the new district and connect the various parts of MesseCity Koeln. The interaction of different layout sizes and building types as well as numerous landscaped areas will create a highly appealing urban district for work and play at the centre of Cologne.