Zalando to develop campus for 5,000 employees in Berlin

BERLIN: Europe’s biggest dedicated online fashion retailer Zalando, which is growing at breakneck speed, is planning to develop a new campus headquarters in a trendy part of Berlin to house 5,000 employees. 
Zalando said the ground-breaking ceremony would take place in the second quarter of 2016, and the opening was targeted for 2018. 
The biggest building in the new campus, located between the Ostbahnhof and Warschauerstrasse stations near the Spree river, will be a seven-storey glass-encased office built by Muenchner Grund Immobilien Bautraeger GmbH and rented by Zalando. 

Zalando declined to say how much it was investing in the campus, which will also incorporate buildings the company is already occupying. 

Founded in Berlin in 2008, Zalando now serves customers in 15 European markets with over 1,500 brands. It is quickly becoming one of the biggest employers in the German capital, long plagued by high unemployment. 

In March, Zalando said it was going on a hiring spree to increase its staff to about 10,000 by the end of 2015 from around 8,000 now, hiring particularly in the tech and logistics field, but also in fashion and operations. 

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Weak euro sparks ME interest in Berlin property

Berlin is attracting interest from Middle East real estate investors looking to take advantage of a booming economy, strong population growth, and a comparatively weak euro, according to the latest quarterly Global Real Estate Outlook published by property investment firm IP Global.
The euro has lost about 12 per cent in value against the US dollar over the past year on the likelihood that additional central bank measures will be needed to stimulate the Eurozone economy as well as the prospect of higher interest rates in the US.
Most currencies in the Middle East are pegged to the US dollar. A weaker euro makes it cheaper to buy assets in the Eurozone, stated the report by IP Global.
Currency fluctuations aside, the report pointed out that the fundamentals of Berlin’s property market were the main factor driving increased demand.
Berlin is forecast to need 19,655 new apartments every year until 2020. In 2014, less than 9,000 were completed. This imbalance is driving price rises, said the property expert in the report.
The average apartment prices in Berlin rose 11.7 per cent in 2014. In prime areas of the city like Mitte, the equivalent figure was an even higher 24.2 per cent.   
With increasing numbers of people moving to Berlin and the city’s economy continuing to expand, Berlin is fast becoming a key market for property investors

High profile infrastructure projects like the €5.3 billion ($5.7 billion) Brandenburg Airport, situated to the south of the current Schoenefeld facility, is proving a boon for employment.

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A Facebook investor is investing €1 million in the Berlin office space used by Twitter and Uber

Klaus Hommels, one of Europe’s most prominent venture capitalists, has invested €1 million (£720,000) in a German technology hub called “Factory Berlin,” which counts SoundCloud, Twitter and Uber among its tenants. He has also joined the board.
Hommels, who is listed on the Forbes Midas List as a leading global tech investor and whose high-profile investments include Facebook, Skype, Airbnb, Spotify, and King, will also join the board of Factory Berlin, which is also known as “Factory.”

Earlier this year Hommels was announced as the head of the new €350 million (£250 million) Lakestar venture capital fund but Business Insider understands that this investment is coming out of Hommels’ own pocket.

“I’m investing in Factory Berlin because I’m committed to the tremendous potential of the Berlin tech ecosystem, and I believe Factory is lifting this potential by creating a powerful community for both the new and old economy,” said Hommels in a press release. “The Factory connects space, services and innovators in very exciting ways.”

Speaking to Business Insider when the Lakestar II fund was announced in August, Hommels said he believes that Berlin will become Europe’s leading technology city due to its low cost of living and its position on the European continent.

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Berlin Devises New Methods To Solve Housing Crisis

Berlin, Germany’s largest city, is facing a housing crisis as the city’s population soars as it has become a magnet for European youth and also grapples with the effect of the continent’s migration crisis including asylum seekers from Syria and further afield.
In recent times 40,000 new residents per year have been arriving into Berlin. The number this year is expected to be 80,000. That rate of growth has authorities worried. Demonstrations are prevalent as locals protest the soaring rents and changes to the feel of many of Berlin’s suburbs. The challenge for the city’s leaders is how to quickly build new housing, especially for migrants.

JLL estimated that only 8,000 housing units were added in 2014. The large shortfall is obvious.

Berlin has taken time to develop its economy since reunification in 1989. A lot of the companies thought to take advantage of new development never came leaving the developers out in the cold.

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