There is a shortage of residential apartments in Berlin, but rents are all the higher. A new residential district on the Buckow Fields promises an improvement in the situation. In the borough of Neukölln on the southern fringe of Berlin, the developer STADT UND LAND Wohnbauten-Gesellschaft mbH is planning a residential complex with about 900 new apartments.In June 2019, Berlin's House of Representatives approved the necessary zoning plan. The international consulting company Drees & Sommer, which is specialized in construction and real estate, has supported this urban development project with project management services since it began in 2018.
Affordable Residential Accommodation for 2,000 People
The 63,800 square meters of land on the Buckow Fields are currently no more than a large agriculturally used field. But in two years' time, construction work will begin for an innovative urban district with residential space for at least 2000 people. ‘With this new district we want to relieve the pressure on the troubled housing market in Berlin. The main focus is on affordable residential accommodation for broad sections of the population. Half of the rental space is therefore planned as rent-controlled or occupancy-controlled accommodation or as special-purpose premises, for example for senior citizens,’ explains Petra Hildebrandt, the managing director of the STADT UND LAND subsidiary WOBEGE which has been entrusted with the project development. In 30 percent of the new apartments, the rent is planned to be about € 6.50 per square meter of residential space.
80 percent of the land will be developed by STADT UND LAND itself. The public residential development company will provide the remaining land to other developers such as trusts, cooperative societies, construction groups and self-use associations in an expression of interest process. Third-party providers will be selected if they will contribute to the shared communal life in the district and make a lasting commitment to serve the public interest. The land areas will be awarded as leasehold rights by STADT UND LAND.
Sustainable and Social: A District with a High Recognition Value
‘The new district will definitely be designed with a high level of sustainability. This includes energy-efficient buildings, a large landscape park, limited car traffic, a close network of pedestrian and cycle paths, parking spaces for car sharing, bicycles, e-bikes and charging spaces for electric cars,’ says Simone Schmiedl, Senior Project Partner at Drees & Sommer. The aim is that different user groups should move into the Buckow Fields so that a lively district with a healthy mixture and a social community can develop. In addition to classic residential apartments there will be commercial space, a kindergarten, a youth center and assisted living accommodation. This thought is already reflected in the planning phase because private citizens are participating in the development of the architectural concept and guidelines in a cooperative workshop process. The zoning plan for the Buckow Fields envisages buildings of three to five stories and apartments with one to five rooms (in addition to the kitchen, bathroom and hallway).
Keeping an Eye on Deadlines, Costs and Quality
Drees & Sommer has supported the project as the project steerer since the beginning of 2018, and in its capacity as a professional ‘temporary building department’ it fulfills the developer tasks which can be delegated, such as project organization. The international project management and consulting company harmonized the integrated urban development plan with the zoning plan, cooperated actively in the conclusion of the urban development contract and the site development contract and prepared the developer's overall budget. Together with all project participants, the experts of Drees & Sommer compiled the framework time schedule, developed the apartment mix and determined the contract award strategy in consultation with the developer.