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17.06.2010

Cornerstone laid for Austria's tallest building — DC Tower 1

  • Mayor Michael Häupl praises new standards at Vienna's Danube City

The laying of the cornerstone of what will be Austria's tallest building, the 220-metre DC Tower 1, was celebrated at noon today. Mayor Michael Häupl, Bank Austria CEO Willibald Cernko, architect Dominique Perrault, his excellency Philippe Carré, ambassador of France, district chairman Norbert Scheed, and the CEO of WED AG, Thomas Jakoubek, were all on hand to mark this important occasion.

Star French architect Dominique Perrault, who among other things designed the French national library in the 1990s as well as the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, penned the new tower. Upon the completion of DC Tower 1 and also DC Tower 2, Vienna's skyline will have two new and impressive testaments to the city's innovative strength. Above all, the state-of-the-art building will be an engaging and modern symbol of Vienna's role as a business location.

DC Tower 1 will be one of the first office towers in Austria to be built and equipped according to the EU Commission's Green Building energy and sustainability standards. The building is to attain gold- or platinum-status green building certification from LEED©, and will thereby enjoy a considerable competitive advantage in attracting tenants, and also financial investors in the event that it is sold.

In his speech, Mayor Michael Häupl underscored the new standards being set for Vienna by this model project in Danube City. Vienna's Danube City as a whole is a prime example of the successful development of attractive new locations. And this new project is another milestone in the growth of a modern Vienna.

"It is especially important in times of economic difficulty to invest in infrastructure and to thereby provide impetus for business activity and for the labour market. DC Tower 1 will be a flagship project for the city of Vienna," said Bank Austria CEO Willibald Cernko. He added: "We believe in the success of this development project, because it offers a truly unique combination of forward-looking architecture and ecological construction at a very attractive location. I am pleased that Bank Austria is making this project possible as the arranger of the syndicated financing agreement and as the primary lender."

"We are proud to be a part of this historic moment. A key to making this project happen was the smooth collaboration with the Viennese administration, the city planners and the project investors. And our extensive experience in Vienna and at this site in particular puts us in an ideal position to realize this monumental project. This property represents an investment of EUR 300 million and 2,500 new jobs," explained Thomas Jakoubek, CEO of WED.

The shareholders of WED AG – UniCredit Bank Austria, Erste Bank, Raiffeisen Zentralbank, BAWAG, Österreichische Investitionskredit, Wiener Städtische and UNIQA Real Estate AG – were likewise pleased about the successful development of Danube City and the "successful efforts to bring the Danube back into the centre of the city," as Christian Traunfellner, member of UNIQA Real Estate AG's management board, put it.

This marks WED AG's fifth major building development after Andromeda Tower (1998), Ares Tower (2001), Tech Gate Vienna (2002/2005) and Saturn Tower (2004). Roughly 60% of the overall concept has been implemented to date. Some 8,500 people already work at Danube City, and it will be over 15,000 once development is complete.

WED Wiener Entwicklungsgesellschaft für den Donauraum AG was established in 1991 after the cancellation of the EXPO to manage the development of the area between the UN compound and the Danube. WED AG is owned by the five largest banks and insurance companies in Austria (UniCredit Bank Austria, Erste Bank Raiffeisen Zentralbank, BAWAG, Österreichische Investitionskredit, UNIQA and Wiener Städtische).

The site:
Vienna DC is the result of WED AG's successful efforts to create a "city within a city" on the bank of the Danube opposite one of the most beautiful historical city centres in Europe. This urban centre features attractive and highly functional architecture and offers forward-looking residential and office buildings, research centres, leisure time facilities and event locations. And, it is a short eight-minute metro ride from the historical city centre.

Danube City is located next to the on-ramp to Reichsbrücke bridge and the A22 motorway and offers direct access to the motorway network at two different points. Vienna International Airport is only about 20 minutes away. The site covers a total area of 18.5 hectares, whereby 1.93 million square metres are being developed. This is equivalent to a gross floor area of roughly 550,000 square metres. Overall development will be completed in the next four to six years. Nearly two-thirds of the project have been completed and marketed to date. The total investment volume for the project amounts to roughly EUR 2 billion.

The separation of motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic on two different levels ensures optimal accessibility and stress-free walking. The access roads and connections to the parking levels are located below the pedestrian level.

Another unique advantage is the site's close proximity to Europe's largest inner-city recreation area, the Danube Island. According to international experts, Danube City's location directly on the water and close to recreational areas such as the Danube Island, Danube Park and the Old Danube make it one of Europe's most interesting urban development areas.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
 Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52819;
  E-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@unicreditgroup.at

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