1974 – 1983

Consolidation and diversification

Dr. Heinrich Kraft takes over the position as Chairman of the ECE Management Board
Dr. Heinrich Kraft takes over the position as Chairman of the ECE Management Board

On time before the oil crisis in 1974/75, ECE stopped their expansion and used the suspended growth period for a comprehensive consolidation. The aim was to secure and optimize existing centers. This task was entrusted to Dr. Heinrich Kraft as Chairman of the ECE Management Board in 1974. Kraft completely reorganized the ECE team and expanded the business activities by office and logistics properties.

With the suspended growth period, which started in fall 1973, ECE prevented just on time that the company got into trouble during the oil crisis with undeveloped sites and half-completed properties. Instead, they took the opportunity lay a solid foundation for the further successful development of the company. This included the expansion of the field of activities. Apart from shopping centers, ECE's range from then on included also office buildings and logistics properties.

ECE focused its office activities on the bank metropolis Frankfurt/Main. Following the oil crisis, many office buildings were vacated or stuck in the middle of construction works. DG Bank commissioned ECE with the fitout and leasing out of their 41-storied city house at the Platz der Republik square. The next large-scale project was the Frankfurt Office Center (FBC) in 1979. It had been left unfinished and for years no potential buyers were interested due to the major construction costs and leasing risks. The building was acquired and completed ready for leasing out. For DG Bank as investor, ECE also developed, realized and leased out the "office building at the old opera" between 1981 and 1984. The 21 stories of the building in Frankfurt's bank district were leased out within a short period of time.

Parallel to the projects in Frankfurt, ECE realized as general planner and project manager for Otto-Versand the headquarters in Hamburg, which were completed in 1982. Furthermore, ECE expanded their project portfolio by logistics projects for Heine Versand in Karlsruhe (1978), Schwab Versand in Langenselbold (1980) and Otto Versand in Burbach (1980).