Online retailer in Berlin-Kreuzberg: Zalando pulls on the Cuvrybrache

The Berlin-based online shopping giant Zalando grows and grows – now also in the direction of Kreuzberg and excellently on one of the most competitive sites in the district, the Cuvrybrache. “It is right, we become tenants there”, confirmed spokeswoman Nadine Przybilski. The company plans to use 34,000 square meters of office space on the 10,000 square meter site. “The first teams are expected to move into late 2019.” However, what departments are going to move to Kreuzberg is not yet certain. The project description states that the first offices are to be ready to go in March 2018.

By the end of 2016, it was clear that a commercial center was to be built at the Cuvrybrache. Previously, negotiations on a residential development between property owner Artur Süßkind and the Senate had failed, while Süsskind did not want to enter into an obligation for a social housing share of 25 per cent – the “Spreespeicher” office building project for the “Cuvryhöfen” Already had a 15 year old building permit. Officially founded Sweetkinds company Terracontor the failure of the negotiations with delays in the development plan procedure.

The planned headquarters is already too small

According to Zalando spokesperson Przybilski, the project was renamed as “Cuvry Campus”. This fits perfectly with the name of the Zalando’s own large-scale construction project on the opposite side of the road, the “Zalando Campus” next to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Friedrichshain. The company’s headquarters there should be ready for occupancy by the end of autumn 2018 and offer room for 5,000 employees – but that is not enough to accommodate all the employees of the fast-growing company. Already, Zalando employs more than 5500 people in Berlin alone, and 1,000 new employees are expected to be present in the capital this year.

Old users. The tent camp on the fallow burnt down in 2014, the remains were cleared. Photo: dpa

At the moment the first start-up is distributed to nine locations in the city, not just at the East Side Gallery and near Ostkreuz station, but also in the Mollstraße opposite the Soho House. In addition, temporary office space is provided. “It is, of course, better if the paths are short and the communication between the employees does not take place by mail,” says Nadine Przybilski. That is why Zalando strives for a spatial concentration – and the address in Cuvrystraße is still relatively close to the headquarters.

Whether there will be rescheduling in interior design is unclear. The management of TerraContor was not available for inquiries. Zalando is obviously the only banker. The project description of the Cuvry campus covers 31,200 square meters of office space and 5,600 square meters of retail space for catering, retail and service providers, an originally planned hotel was apparently canceled. Commercial space in office space, is not a major hurdle. On the Spreeseite there should be a publicly accessible shore path under arcades. The 3300 square meter “community garden” in the courtyard of the campus wing is reserved to tenants.

Fight for the Cuvrybrache

The site on Cuvrystraße has been fought since the 1990s. In 20 years of brownfield history, there were many plans and different uses: First, there was the Club Yaam, then a shopping center was to be built, but the district protested, then the investor gave up. The planning for a commercial center also crashed, the renowned Guggenheim-Lab wanted to use the site for a summer, but the left scene finally attacked and distributed the project, then a wild hut and tent camp with backpackers, migrant workers and Roma families emerged Eastern Europe. After the camp burned down in 2014, owner and project developer Artur Süßkind left the premises.

Now the next chapter will be opened. Whether there are again rifts with left and neighborhood residents? At Zalando one is aware of the subject. Spokeswoman Przybilski refers to plans by the builder to keep a public entrance to the Spreeufer and to set up a “Kieztreff”. There are also positive effects when Zalando refers to a location. “Our employees use the environment, which is conducive to infrastructure in the district.”

Kiezstrukturen in danger

Florian Schmidt (Greens), City Councilor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, sees this somewhat differently: “Large international corporations with creative employees are looking for the Kiez with a scene flaring – but their massive appearance threatens to destroy the structures.” The high level of business in the shops of the Cuvry campus would also increase the pressure on the surrounding shops in Wrangelkiez. One who