PATRIZIA Immobilien AG will construct a completely new urban quarter with over 1,000 apartments on a former glassworks site in the Gerresheim district of Düsseldorf, thus creating urgently needed residential space. The residential action plan of the city of Düsseldorf will be taken into account, and further details are still to be coordinated between Düsseldorf and PATRIZIA.
Essentially, new buildings for residential, retail and commercial use will be built for “Glasmacherviertel Düsseldorf” on an industrial site of around 300,000 m². The centerpiece of the new area will be the “Düssel-Park”, a park of roughly 70,000 m² with the renatured Düssel River flowing through it. Soil reclamation and development for “Glasmacherviertel Düsseldorf” is already due to start in the spring of 2014. The first apartments will be ready for residents in the next few years. The project volume amounts to €210 million.
The city of Düsseldorf welcomes the plans. “There will be a new urban quarter with a variety of living and work opportunities, whose identity will remain characterized by the Gerresheim glassworks of the past,” remarked Mayor Dirk Elbers. Dr. Gregor Bonin, the Head of the Planning Department, is similarly positive in his assessment of the development: “The ‘Glasmacherviertel’ will guide the future of Gerresheim in the right direction.” PATRIZIA Immobilien AG also praised the excellent collaboration with the city of Düsseldorf. “We are working together in this area in a very constructive way. We are pleased to now be able to create a new, lively urban quarter for Gerresheim with a park as its centerpiece. The quarter represents a bridge between the past and the future,” declared Jürgen Kolper, Head of Real Estate Development at PATRIZIA Project Development GmbH.
The concept foresees the design of the quarter with different types of housing, commercial, retail and service offerings in multiple construction stages. It offers contemporary living space for many people as well as jobs. In addition to residential buildings, plans also include a local shopping center and day care centers. The pavement will be removed from large parts of the area, which will be greened. The industrial culture of the site will be deliberately included in the design of the urban neighborhood. Listed buildings such as the boiler house, the power station and the almost 50-meter water tower will be refurbished in contemporary style and integrated into the urban quarter. They will form the entrance to the “Düssel-Park” and are reminiscent of the industrial history of this site.
The more than 1,000 apartments will be in buildings with a varying number of stories and arranged in a relaxed design in relation to one another. The apartments are intended for families as well as couples and single people and are available in different sizes in terms of living space. Offerings range from affordable houses and apartments especially for families to contemporary rental apartments.
The area will be opened up by continuing the existing streets and pathways in the Gerresheim district and connected seamlessly with the surrounding buildings. This ensures ideal public transportation links by bus and streetcar, while the nearby Gerresheim commuter rail station also offers a good connection. Düsseldorf main train station can be reached in just a few minutes from there. Numerous new streets will also be built within the urban quarter.
The soil reclamation at the industrial site has been going on for some time. An expert determination of possible residues and soil contamination was conducted in close coordination with the city environment agency. Pumps have been in use on the site for two years in order to clean the groundwater of traces of its industrial past. PATRIZIA has concluded a comprehensive clean-up agreement with the city of Düsseldorf with PATRIZIA assuming all the costs.
The former glassworks site can look back at a long history that is closely tied to the district of Gerresheim. In 1864, Ferdinand Heye founded a glassworks there called Ferd. Heye Glasfabrik. By 1900, this factory was already the largest producer of bottles in the world and employed more than 8,000 workers. A “G” with a crown was the logo of the glassworks and decorated the glass jars and glass bottles of numerous companies, including global players such as Coca-Cola. In 2005, production was halted for good after 141 years, and the glassworks was demolished in 2009.
At the beginning of 2012, PATRIZIA acquired prospective building land measuring approximately 200,000 square meters and thus around two-thirds of the site belonging to O-I Glaspack GmbH, the German subsidiary of American company Owen-Illinois Inc. (O-I), the world’s leading glass bottle manufacturer. A completely new urban quarter was then successfully designed with the city of Düsseldorf in less than two years.