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Construction begins on Berlin's most prominent corner 'Friedrichstraße / Unter den Linden'
The Senate Department for Urban Devlopement and MEAG jointly released a statement today that on March 1, 2006, construction will start on the new site located at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden. The planned building complex will re-establish the historical city layout, as it was up until 1945. The hotel, currently occupying the property, will discontinue its business by end of February. The furnishings will be donated by MEAG to social services. The centrally-located property will be made available as an event area during the World Soccer Cup. 'This new development will fill a large hole in the cityscape and also help in raising the value of the boulevard, Unter den Linden,' explained Ingeborg Junge-Reyer from the Senate Department while visiting the construction site on Thursday. The infamous 'Café Victoria' was located on this property up until the end of World War II. 'This location made Berlin into a metropolis - even one hundred years ago,' Dr. Knut Riesmeier, Managing Director of MEAG, stated. The new development will thus resemble the style of the traditional facades from the 1890s, typical for the boulevard.
The architecture is the result of an international competition of which the winners are renowned architects from the firm, Gerkan Marg and Partner (gmp). gmp is repsonsible for the complete concept, the plan of execution as well as the design of the facades facing Friedrichstraße and Mittelstraße. The three other facades facing the street, Unter den Linden, were designed by gmp as well as by the architect firm of Augusto Romano Burelli (Venice) and by Petra and Paul Kahlfeldt.
Following the building's completion, anticipated by the end of 2008, the 8-story complex will offer up to 40,000 qm of space for retail, offices and apartments. 'We will set new standards for Friedrichstraße with the availabilty of such an amount of surface area. The building will be of high interest to German and international businesses due to its ideal location and high-quality décor,' Dr. Riesmeier stated. Dorothee Dubrau, District Advisor for Urban Dvelopment in central Berlin, welcomes the project. 'Within a mere few years, Friedrichstraße has become one of the most important meeting spots in Berlin. This new building will only further add to the timeless revivial of Friedrichstraße.'
The preparatory construction work has already begun. The hotel, Unter den Linden, which partially occupies part of the site, will be discontinuing its business as of February 28, 2006. MEAG will donate the remaining furnishings. Since the trees infront of the hotel cannot be replanted, MEAG will compensate. 'Working with the Bäume für Berlin campaign, led by the environment and nature conservancy, Germany BUND Berlin e.V., we will plant new trees within the city,' Dr. Riesmeier announced. Andreas Jaref from BUND Berlin e.V. welcomes this initiative by MEAG: 'The BUND Berlin e.V. will plant the donated trees from MEAG in the residential area of Hohenschönhausen, as this area is in particular need of some greenery.'
The property will be used as an event area during the World Soccer Cup. 'We want to present the area as an event place, not a construction site. This is a concern of ours as well as of those in charge of the city and its centre,' Dr. Riesmeier explained. The property was acquired by MEAG in an international auction in 2002.
For the duration of the project, MEAG has requested the services of the American project developer, Hines, as a consulting partner. Hines Immobilien GmbH will be responsible for marketing. The Berliner agency, Scholz & Friends, has been recruited as a partner for communication.
MEAG MUNICH ERGO AssetManagement GmbH of Munich, Germany, manages the assets of Munich Re and ERGO Insurance Group. With offices located in New York and Hong Kong, MEAG is a global player. In addition to handling equities, MEAG collaborates with partners outside the Munich Re Group. Currently, MEAG manages assets valued at approximately €180 billion.
Dr. Josef Wild
Telephone: 089 / 2489 – 2072
Fax: 089 / 2489 – 2075
Press Relations Officer
Dr. Josef Wild
Tel.: +49 89 | 2489 - 2072
Fax: +49 89 | 2489 - 2075Presse@meag.com
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