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03.03.2011

Bank Austria builds "UniCredit Bank Austria Town" at Vienna's Praterstern

  • Strong impetus to Vienna as a business location: investment of between EUR 150 and 280 million creates up to 2,500 jobs
  • Clear commitment of UniCredit to Vienna
  • "UniCredit Bank Austria Town" will have about 150,000 square metres of gross floor area, using open and communicative architecture and offering ecologically sound and state-of-the-art offices for up to 7,000 people
  • Service and leisure facilities will complement "UniCredit Bank Austria Town"
  • Urban planning competition will start in the next few weeks, construction period ending in 2015, relocation to follow in 2016

A new chapter is going to be opened in Vienna's urban development. The area of the former Northern Railway Station is among the major development zones in Vienna. The project along the axis linking the city centre and "Donau City" will provide impetus to Vienna as a whole. The new UniCredit Bank Austria Town planned as part of this project will be the new head office of Bank Austria, a leading bank in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe.
Bank Austria's new head office will combine innovation with international stature, meeting the standards of ecological sustainability. Four additional buildings with a combined gross floor area of up to 150,000 square metres will complement the existing buildings in Lassallestrasse. Vienna's central geographical location and excellent accessibility from all over Europe as well as the high quality of available infrastructure have been the main factors for the decision in favour of the new location.

Investment volume of between EUR 150 and 280 million, office space for 4,500 to 7,000 people
The investment will involve a total amount (depending on the final development stage) of between EUR 150 and 280 million. In addition to offices for 4,000 employees of Bank Austria, the remaining 3,000 physical workplaces will be rented to other companies. One of the buildings will accommodate shops, medical services and leisure facilities including fitness centres. This will also have a favourable effect on business activities in the area. As a next step, Bank Austria will invite tenders for the urban planning project and award the project to the architects who submit the most convincing plans. The criteria applied in this process will include urban development in an overall context, the internal and external architectural impact, functionality, flexibility of use, efficiency, and energy-related and ecological sustainability. The local authority will probably make its official decision on land use by the end of 2011. Planning permission will therefore not be available before the end of 2012. Relocation is planned for 2016. The Technical Centre located in Julius-Tandler-Platz in Vienna's ninth district will be closed. A decision on the future use of the building in Schottengasse will be made when final planning permission is available.

"Vienna is and will remain a highly attractive location for international companies active in Central and Eastern Europe. The new UniCredit Bank Austria Town is a clear commitment of the bank to Vienna as a business location. The establishment of the bank's new head office in the Praterstern area will support job security in the banking and construction industries. And it is impressive proof that Vienna's second district, with its infrastructure and transport links, is highly attractive to companies," says Michael Häupl, the Mayor of Vienna.

Efficiency of internal processes in Bank Austria will be further enhanced
"This project is planned and realised with the active involvement of the Employees' Council. It is a unique opportunity to design an office building and an urban complex for several thousand people – employees, visitors and the general public. Our new head office will be characterised by open and communicative architecture reflecting Bank Austria's self-perception. Moreover, the new UniCredit Bank Austria Town will further improve the quality of our customer services through optimum cooperation of our employees – concentrated in a single location – while shortening internal processes and significantly reducing time spent by employees on their way to meetings. The excellent transport infrastructure (close to Vienna's international airport, city centre and hotels) and especially easy accessibility by public transport also make the Praterstern location an attractive international workplace for colleagues from Austria's neighbouring countries," says Bank Austria's CEO Willibald Cernko.

Positive signal for Vienna as a business location: a project creating up to 2,500 jobs
A particularly important aspect of the project is the number of jobs it will create. In the construction sector, investment projects have a very strong effect on employment. "Based on the standard calculations of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, we proceed from the assumption that the construction of the new UniCredit Bank Austria Town, with an assumed investment of EUR 280 million, will create about 2,500 jobs in the next few years. This will clearly enhance Vienna's attraction as a business location," says Willibald Cernko.

A new city quarter with about 10,000 apartments, offices for some 10,000 workplaces, as well as shops, service providers and related infrastructure facilities will be created in several stages on 65 hectares of land in the area of the former Northern Railway Station by 2025. A new city within the city will be built on 1.2 million square metres of land and a development area of 650,000 square metres. "This is certainly one of the most significant urban development programmes in Vienna. We are realising it jointly with the City of Vienna and property developers. The new city quarter will be close to recreational areas including the River Danube and the Prater and Augarten parks, and it will be easily accessible by public transport. This urban area will thus meet high standards with regard to residential and job quality as well as the quality of life. We welcome the fact that Bank Austria, an Austrian lead company of international stature, will play a key role in this part of the city," says Christian Kern, CEO of the Austrian Federal Railways.

Management development, sport and leisure centre in the Kaiserwasser area
In addition to Bank Austria's new head office, Kaiserwasser Errichtungs und Betriebsgesellschaft GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank Austria, acts as investor for the construction of a highly innovative centre for sports, recreation and training in the Kaiserwasser area, Eiswerkstrasse 20, in Vienna's 22nd district. ARGE Demarle-AUHOF, a joint working association, has been given a mandate for this project. Construction work will commence in June 2011. The official opening of the Kaiserwasser centre is planned for the second quarter of 2013. The project involves a total investment of EUR 18.9 million.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
 Julia Wegenstein, tel. +43 (0) 50505 52854
 e-mail: julia.wegenstein@unicreditgroup.at

"UniCredit Bank Austria Town" at a glance
The construction of Bank Austria's new head office in Vienna will involve the use of open and communicative architecture comprising a gross floor area of about 150,000 square metres, with ecologically sound and state-of-the-art offices for up to 7,000 people. Overall, i.e. including the existing office buildings in Lassallestrasse 1 and 5, the "UniCredit Bank Austria Town" will offer office space for 10,000 people. Offices for 7,000 people will be used by Bank Austria employees, and 3,000 physical workplaces will be rented out. Service and leisure facilities will complement the "UniCredit Bank Austria Town", by which UniCredit underlines its strong commitment to Vienna as a business location.

Facts:

• Key data:
- Gross floor area of up to 150,000 square metres
- Construction fields 5, 7 and 8 (possibly 6)
- Offices for 10,000 people (including the existing office buildings
in Lassallestrasse 1 and 5)
- Office space for 7,000 people will be newly created
- 4,000 new physical workplaces will be used by Bank Austria employees
(3,000 will be rented out)
- Investment volume: EUR 150 to 280 million

• Time schedule:
- Invitation for tenders under an urban planning competition and
an architectural competition by March/April 2011
- Official decision on land use to be made by the end of 2011
- Planning permission available   by the end of 2012
- Construction period   2013 – 2015
- Opening and start-up 2016
- Final relocation 2016

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