At the Gerling Quartier in Cologne we find ourselves on the finishing straight for the ceremonial opening of the "Piazza", the Gereon Hof, representing the finalisation of the first construction phase of this large development.On 25 September and 26 September, the square - described by the media as the heart of the new development - will be handed over to the population. The programme naturally also includes a lot of fun, music and good food.
The celebrations, coming up in around four weeks' time, prompted Jürgen Roters, mayor of Cologne, to pay a visit to Gerling Quartier this week together with IMMOFINANZ CEO Oliver Schumy and a considerable number of local journalists. Project leader Christian Riener reported on the progress.
And on this Wednesday things moved further forward. The historic fountains, which had been protected during the construction phase, were in the process of being rebuilt and are now going into operation with a new water and lighting concept. The first trees were planted and the last paving stones were laid. The Gerling tower, which is around 60 metres in height, is still surrounded by scaffolding, but following removal of the protective covering it is now possible to get a glimpse of the facade. The scaffolding is also due to be removed at the start of the coming week.
"As a resident of Cologne, one can be proud that IMMOFINANZ has set about the task of developing something new here", said the mayor. And he expressed his conviction that the Gerling Quartier with its "Piazza Navona of Cologne", on which there are naturally gastronomic and shopping opportunities, will be received "with great enthusiasm" by both the local population and by tourists. It will be "a square for all people of Cologne".
A few brief facts and figures: In Gerling Quartier, an ensemble of twelve existing buildings and six newly constructed ones with a usable area of approximately 75,000 sqm (45,000 sqm commercial premises and 30,000 sqm exclusive residential premises) along with 400 garage parking spaces is being developed in two construction phases.
The first construction phase comprises five residential buildings with 145 apartments and eight commercial properties with a rental area of around 25,000 sqm. More than 100 of these apartments have already been sold and office tenants include the law firm Köhler & Klett, the banks HSBC and LBBW and the management consulting firm McKinsey.
A further 90 apartments and around 20,000 sqm of commercial space is planned for the second construction phase. The construction started in summer 2014 and completion is scheduled for the end of 2017/start of 2018. Towards the end of the second construction phase, the boutique hotel 25hours will move into the distinctive circular building in Gerling Quartier, with an exciting concept.
Some pictures from the mayor's visit and links to the press coverage (available only in German) follow:
Kölner Rundschau: Gerling Quartier ist auf der Zielgeraden
Kölner Stadtanzeiger: Einblick einen Monat vor Eröffnung
Report-K: Großes Eröffnungsfest im Gerling Quartier