Tour Total – The first completed building at Europacity in Berlin

The future German headquarters of the Total oil company, the Tour Total in Berlin, was officially completed in time and budget by the CA Immo real estate company and handed over to the tenant. The building opposite the main railway station is the first in a series of construction projects by CA Immo and other investors in the new Europacity urban quarter.

Built as a green building, the Tour Total consists of 16 office floors with a gross floor area of approximately 18,000 sq m (193,750 sq ft). The building has more than 90 spaces for bicycles and 240 parking spaces for cars. Thanks to the proximity of the main railway station, it is ideally connected to the public transport. Total Deutschland GmbH will ultimately concentrate the German business of the energy company on 12 floors with 500 employees. Four floors will be leased to other companies. For the construction management CA Immo appointed omniCon, their specialized construction management subsidiary. The Berlin office of Barkow Leibinger was responsible for the architecture.

CA Immo in Berlin
CA Immo has a presence in Berlin with total property assets with a market value of about € 542 m. Just under half of this is accounted for by property assets under development. After the completion of the Tour Total, CA Immo currently has another two development projects under construction in Berlin with a total investment volume of € 125 m: The new headquarter of Mercedes Benz Sales at Berlin-Friedrichshain and the Intercity Hotel at Berlins´ central railway station. Furthermore, CA Immo owns investment properties (212,000 s qm lettable area), among them the Königliche Direktion at the Schöneberger Ufer and the Hamburger Bahnhof. (more)

Berlin’s housing bubble and the backlash against hipster tourists

Skyrocketing housing costs in Berlin can’t be blamed on an influx of ‘foreigners’, but are in fact fuelled by the global financial crisis.

I recently moved back to Berlin after four years in London, and it seems half of London had the same idea. When I walk down the familiar streets of my old neighbourhood, where the most exotic sight used to be the local kebab shop, I now hear posh kids from the home counties discuss their nightly exploits and see stylish Swedes sipping espressos. It all suddenly feels like Dalston.

I was lucky enough to be able to move back into my old flat in Neukölln, one of Berlin’s poorest districts with high crime rates and crumbling infrastructure, but ridiculously cheap rents. The money I used to pay for my room in north-east London would easily get you a decent two-bedroom flat here. Or, rather, it used to: rents here are suddenly skyrocketing. According to a recent article in Die Zeit, they rose over 23% between 2007 and 2010, the biggest increase over the whole city. Many locals are blaming “the foreigners”, the tourists and bohemians from Britain, Spain or Scandinavia, for this sudden rent hike. Last year, Der Spiegel reported on a backlash against the growing international community in the district, spearheaded by one of the local bar-owners whose video manifesto against “the fucking students, artists and layabouts” went viral. (more)

How Germany’s south became the backbone of a vibrant economy

It is hard to imagine now that southern Germany – Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria – was very poor in the 19th century, a largely agricultural area little touched by industrialisation. After the second world war, when hard graft and financial aid via the Marshall plan resulted in Germany’s “Wirtschaftswunder” (economic miracle), the region rose to become the country’s economic powerhouse.

Today the south is Germany’s most prosperous part and home to tens of thousands of small and medium-sized privately-owned companies – known as the Mittelstand – hi-tech clusters and household names such as Daimler and Bosch. (more)

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German finmin upbeat on economy in budget debate

BERLIN, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s economy is cooling but fears of a sharp slowdown are overblown and there are few downside risks to the government’s forecast for 0.7 percent growth this year, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers on Tuesday.  Opening a parliamentary debate on the draft 2013 budget with a bullish speech, Schaeuble said Europe’s largest economy had become more resilient to shocks such as the global slowdown thanks to structural reforms and policies.

Germany, seen as the sick man of Europe 10 years ago, now has the lowest jobless rate since reunification in 1991 and the highest employment levels in its history, Schaeuble said. “That we are better positioned is not only obvious in (these labour market developments), but something more fundamental has changed and that gives us all confidence, also for future developments,” he told the Bundestag lower house of parliament. (more)

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German-American Economic Ties Strengthened by Machines

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 BERLIN and CHICAGO, September 9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The German and American machinery industries are more interlocked than ever. Demand for German machines in the USA, Canada, and Mexico have grown by 25 percent since the beginning of the year, according to a recent report from Germany’s VDMA industry association. And with 56 projects in 5 years, the USA is the number one investor country in Germany’s machinery and equipment industry, a further sign of strong business ties. Germany Trade & Invest will have representatives at this year’s IMTS in Chicago from September 10-15 to highlight business opportunities for international companies in Germany. (more)

Germany Leads With Its Goal of 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Germany is demonstrating steady progress in unshackling itself from fossil fuel dependence by converting to renewable energy sources. Polls show that more than 80 percent of the nation favors development of homegrown wind, sun and geothermal energy alternatives and escape from importing the bulk of oil, gas or uranium from foreign sources. In economic terms, Germany is an early adopter. The large industrial power, second after China, takes on risks and costs of an untested technology. But it also shapes the world market, setting standards and a global example on energy security – not to mention creating thousands of clean-power jobs or saving countless lives by reducing pollution and conflicts over fossil fuels. Uranium, like oil or gas, is limited in supply, even though prices are temporarily low. The government’s delay in phasing out large, highly profitable nuclear power stations will slow investment in fledgling solar and wind industries – adding more uncertainty to the globe’s energy future. (more)insider german property investment

Germany is the new retail expansion hotspot

A report by Barclays says that Germany figures as their favourite site for overseas expansion, beating China and Australia. Also, two thirds of British retailers expect their overseas sales to increase in the coming five years.

Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays, have said that most British retailers favour Germany because the climate is much similar to Britain, so money or energy need not be spent on reinventing designs. Another possibility also cannot be discarded, that in the recessionary environment, the German economy is doing comparatively better. (more)

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