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We develop your project

Project development:
We develop the real estate of the future

From well thought-out individual properties to complex mixed-use solutions and entire district concepts that combine living, working, retailing and leisure - in keeping with our motto "Creating space, inspiring people", we plan, build and hand over sustainable as well as technically functional properties that inspire people and offer them space to develop. Experienced in the development of all asset classes, we offer all areas of the value chain from conception to implementation from a single source.

Developer with real estate services

From the project idea, its initiation phase and elaboration of the master plan, to finding and securing the right land, to project conception and implementation strategy, our project experts lay the foundation for the future success of the property.

In conjunction with our general planning services, we deliver a holistic approach to planning and project management - unique in Europe on this scale. And even after completion of the property, you can count on our full in-house service: We will also be happy to handle the sale and leasing as well as the ongoing asset management of the property for you.

Project development of a business quarter

Together with STRABAG Real Estate, we are developing MesseCity Köln between Koelnmesse and the Cologne Messe/Deutz train station - a modern business district consisting of a total of six office and hotel properties with space for gastronomy, services, and retail on 135,000 square meters of floor space. As the responsible Regional Head Rhine/Ruhr at ECE Work & Live, Peter Schmidt accompanies this exciting project development and reveals in an interview why it is so special.

Peter, MesseCity is an exciting business district currently under construction in the heart of the Rhineland metropolis of Cologne, which we are developing together with STRABAG Real Estate. What makes this project so special?
MesseCity Cologne is about more than just the development and construction of a property - an entire quarter is being created with an impressive 135,000 square meters of gross floor area, and all this at a prime location. This also presented two key challenges that we had to overcome on the way to achieving our goal: Firstly, a high pre-letting rate was required as a precondition for realization, and secondly, together with our equal joint venture partner STRABAG Real Estate, we first had to convince the city of Cologne as the seller of the land that we were exactly the right partner for this huge development project - which we ultimately succeeded in doing.

Furthermore, it should not be neglected that with this project we are creating an attractive working environment for several thousand people as well as a neighborhood with a high quality of life and recreation. This development will give the Deutz district a new significance and turn what was once purely a trade fair location into a lively place.

What is ECE's role in this project and what is yours?
As with many of our major projects, we as ECE have a variety of tasks, which is ultimately what makes it so exciting. On the one hand, we are the developer's representatives for all services such as project management and control and we take over the project management for the property companies. This requires close cooperation between us as developers and our colleagues from other business units, such as Architecture & Construction. After all, given the challenges posed by such a major project, we can only offer innovative solutions if we always work together as a strongly functioning team and benefit from each other's expertise. On the other hand, we also act as a service provider for the property companies: in general planning, the placement process, obtaining financing, approaching tenants and leasing all types of use - office, hotel, retail and gastronomy. In short, we offer an all-round carefree package.

I am personally responsible for the management of the property companies within the joint venture. In the course of this, my tasks here are also very varied; among other things, I also form the coordination interface with our partner STRABAG Real Estate. Being able to take responsibility for such a significant development in my home town is also very motivating personally.

What are the next steps for MesseCity - how far have construction and marketing progressed in the meantime?
MesseCity is already around 80 percent leased. The main tenant in the western part is Zurich Group Germany, which has already moved into its new headquarters in fall 2019 with 2,800 employees. Other tenants include the rubber manufacturer Arlanxeo, the Motel One and Adina Apartments hotels, and the restaurateurs L'Osteria and The Ash.

In the second construction phase, the "Centraal" and "Rossio" office buildings are now being built. Construction work on the 15-story "Centraal" with more than 19,000 square meters of rental space began in spring 2021. The tenant is the auditing company KPMG. Innovative office planning is being implemented there for the company's Cologne branch. The "Rossio" also offers space for customized office worlds. This final piece in the mosaic of the new business quarter has been under construction since 2022 and will have a total leasable area of around 26,000 square meters. Leasing of this space is currently in full swing and talks are being held on an ongoing basis with a number of well-known prospective tenants. MesseCity is scheduled to be completely finished by 2025.

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