BER Airport significantly boosting employment and commercial property development

© immobilien-experten-ag.

Visualization of Tower B5 © immobilien-experten-ag.

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which will open in October, brings noticeable economic impulses and strong growth in property prices and commercial rents in the region. Many market participants have used the last eight years to advance their development projects. The demand for office space in project and property developments has noticeably increased since 2018. These were the core results announced at the online press conference on the “Impact of BER's opening on the region's property markets” held September 23, 2020.

Oliver Igel, the mayor of Berlin's Treptow-Köpenick district directly adjacent to BER expects strong growth at 34 commercial sites within a 30 to 35 km radius. This translates into some 85,000 new jobs in the immediate and nearby vicinity of the airport. Igel also expects 40,000 new residents in the direct airport region and 120,000 new residents in Berlin. He said, “The impact of BER's opening and the completion of the largest infrastructure project in our region is important far beyond our local area. It is foreseeable that the numbers being drawn to our district will present us with tremendous challenges. Both in terms of the necessary infrastructure and the development of the real estate market. But these are challenges that we are glad to face on a daily basis in order to remain fit for the future."

Demand for land noticeably up since 2018
According to a study commissioned by PRS Family Trust GmbH from Wüest Partner Deutschland, land prices for new construction in the Schönfeld area have risen by 60% since 2018. The period between 2012 and 2018 only saw a jump of 47%. "This shows that investors and project developers have approached BER rather cautiously," says Rainer Schorr, Managing Director of PRS Family Trust. "It was only as the demand for office space in Berlin exploded and the more or less guaranteed completion of the airport on schedule that projects were launched in and around Schönefeld in significant numbers."
By contrast, the Dreilinden location in southwest Berlin, which benefits equally from Tegel and BER, long seemed a more sure investment. From Schorr's perspective, the tremendous development potential of the properties in the region is important. “In and around Berlin, there are quite a number of larger areas that were built up with no plans at all or have been developed improperly with regard to building density and types of use,” says Schorr. “These sites need to be differentiated by type of use and developed in close coordination with the municipalities in order to be usable as building land for the mostly specialized, smaller property developers. Near Schönefeld, we are currently preparing around 120 hectares for future development with our partners."

Office pioneers rewarded
FAY Projects from Mannheim has had a presence near BER for ten years now. The developer which specializes in office and hotel properties began construction work on its Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Center (BBAC) in 2010. “In the eight years after the completion of the BBAC, it has, at times, been challenging to run an office for an airport when there were no planes flying. Originally, we were able to set rents at a comparable level to central Berlin, but the delay in the airport’s opening overturned many plans. In the past two years, however, the demand for our office space at Terminal 1 has once again increased significantly. We saw a significant increase in 2018. The BBAC has been fully leased since. The current average rent is €18.10/m² and thus well below the level in central Berlin locations,” says Clemens Rapp, Managing Director of FAY Projects. “We anticipate that the attraction of 18,800 m² office space will only increase with the opening of BER and, with the FLEXGATE project not far from BER, we responded early on to the region's development potential.” Completion of the 14,300 m² FLEXGATE is planned for the third quarter of 2022. The new building is located in the gatelands Businesspark Kienberg, about one kilometer from the entrance to the main terminal. The first 2,200 m² have already been leased to a workspace provider.

Berlin-Adlershof benefitting significantly
Germany's largest science and technology park, Berlin-Adlershof, is just ten minutes' drive or S-Bahn ride away from BER. Around 1,200 companies and scientific institutions with some 23,500 employees and 6,500 students work here. In addition, Adlershof is the first motorway exit inside Berlin on the A113 city motorway from BER towards the center.

"The airport/city center axis has proven to be an attractive location for companies from around the world to set up here in Berlin," says Mareike Lechner, CEO of immobilien-experten-ag., which is currently developing three projects that will offer some 150,000 m² of space in Adlershof. “We have been working on the Adlershof location since the mid-1990s and started the first project in 2010. It was inconceivable for us that the opening of BER Airport would be so long in coming when we started our work in Adlershof,” she adds. Nevertheless, 30,000 m² in the company's largest project Am Oktogon, a campus for commerce and technology, have already been leased. “Our tenants come from the areas of research and development, automotive, contract logistics, network technology, and the service sector. They benefit from a high degree of networking and the future-oriented environment as well as very good transport links,” Lechner added. When completed, the campus, comprising 17 new buildings built around one existing building, will offer a gross floor area of 85,000 m². The construction work for Am Oktogon is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Further projects of the immobilien-experten-ag. in Adlershof are the OfficeLab-Campus Adlershof, an office complex with around 26,000 m² of space for lease directly adjacent to the S-Bahn station, as well as the Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Adlershof, which will be a 16-story conference and meeting hotel that will offer 380 rooms and tower over Adlershof once completed. The relatively low office rents in Adlershof currently also offer very attractive conditions to companies that are having to adapt their business models due to the pandemic situation.

The presentation of the online press conference can be found here: Download

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