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11.10.2007

Foundation stone laid for Wien Mitte

The foundation stone ceremony marked the start of construction on the Wien Mitte NEU project. Wien Mitte is Vienna’s biggest inner city construction project and comprises a multifunctional building with a gross floor area of 127,000 square metres and includes building over Wien Mitte station. The Wien Mitte NEU project has been the subject of debate for many years and is now being implemented after numerous, and in some cases, far-reaching changes. The laying of the foundation stone today was carried out by the mayor Michael Häupl, Federal Minister Werner Faymann, BA-CA CEO Erich Hampel and BAI- und Immobilien Holding Managing Director Thomas Jakoubek.

Erich Hampel, CEO of Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA): “We became involved in Wien Mitte because we are convinced of the success of this key project for Vienna. Our involvement as a 50% project partner and financier shows that we are ready to act when it comes to sharing responsibility for urban development.”    

Wien Mitte station has been an import public transport hub for two hundred years. Originally the site was a central port for hard coal deliveries from Ödenburg. Later it became home to the newly constructed main customs office building. With the advent of the metro railway in 1962 it became “Landstrasse station” before being renamed “Wien Mitte” in 1976 when the metro system was built. Today Wien Mitte is one of the most highly frequented transit hubs in the city, with over 100,000 passengers a day. The concept to build over such a busy public location with access to two metro lines, five commuter rail lines and the city airport train (CAT) was the outcome of an urban development competition in 1990. The design by Ortner & Ortner was selected as the lead project and has been subsequently modified in several development stages.

Following massive objections from UNESCO to the construction of the property already planned and approved in 2002 which featured three high rise towers up to 90 metres high (the height of the buildings was not in keeping with Vienna’s world heritage status), the city of Vienna held a competition for a new zoning concept in 2003. The project was then to be executed by the building contractor with the existing planning team in line with the new concept. In October 2003, the jury recommended the proposal from architects Henke & Schreieck as the basis for a new development plan. This planning document forms the basis for the construction of the present Wien Mitte project, which is being implemented by the architect group Ortner & Ortner, Neumann + Steiner and Lintl + Lintl as intended.

But Wien Mitte is still not a simple project. The complexity of the construction project stems from several factors. On the one hand, there are construction and design conditions which make the work difficult and complicated. As a result of the different utilisations and ongoing operations of the metro and commuter railways, continuous construction is not possible. On the other hand, the property ownership situation is also complicated and necessitates numerous usufructuary rights and a host of servitudes. The current rent price levels on the property market in Vienna are also creating additional problems.
 

Nothing now stands in the way of implementation of the project by Wien Mitte Immobilien GmbH. The necessary permit procedures are largely complete and the building permit and approvals under traffic and rail legislation have been issued. With regard to marketing of the property, we are pleased to already report above-average interest and the acquisition of one major tenant. The Finance Ministry has signed a rental agreement for 34,000 square metres, which corresponds to around two thirds of the total lettable office space.

Enquiries:

BAI Bauträger Austria Immobilien GmbH
A-1020 Vienna, Leopold-Moses-Gasse 4
Nina Jäger
Tel.: +43/676 / 84 30 12 320
e-mail: nina.jaeger@bai.at 

Bank Austria Creditanstalt
Press Office Austria
Christian Kontny
Tel. +43 (0)50505 / 52483
e-mail: christian.kontny@ba-ca.com