Client story

All Aboard In Hamburg’s Hafen City

Cast off with two goals: highly satisfied tenants and maximum increase in value of three commercial properties in Hamburg's city centre according to owner's requirements. That's asset management!


Hafen City, centre of Hamburg


One year of total commitment

Square Metres

Three football fields


Half a million

Three impressive commercial buildings in Hamburg's HafenCity that had suffered for many years, in particular from personnel upheavals involving two property managers. The result: outstanding invoices and dissatisfied tenants who were left in the dark about planned conversions of the buildings. Accordingly, in August 2017, the owner, an international investor, consulted with our Asset Management team regarding this both urgent and ambitious matter. The mission: change of property management, highly satisfied tenants, maximum increase in real estate value and exploitation of the full potential of location and architecture.

How we worked together

Achievements: highly satisfied tenants, maximum increase in real estate value.

Alexander Eisenhut, Associate Director, Asset Management, JLL

Using a clear strategy, rigorous follow-up of outstanding invoices and frequent exchange of information with the tenants, we were able to quickly solve the main problems which we encountered. Yet still, we would meet more varied and challenging tasks involved in managing a building ensemble in the centre of what is currently the largest inner-city urban development project in Europe:

The restaurant in the first of the three units had the goal of achieving two Michelin Stars within five years. This would only have been feasible in an appropriate spatial atmosphere which lies within the responsibility of the landlord. JLL provided comprehensive support for the necessary luxury development - from cost calculation, to continuous quality control and to final acceptance of the building on completion. We wish the chef and his team the best of luck in their endeavour!

Second unit - second challenge: the former sole tenant, one of the world's top-10 shipping companies, had filed for bankruptcy. The space had become vacant, so we developed various reletting concepts, evaluated feasibility, calculated profitability and performed a cost-effectiveness study in terms of either reletting to several tenants or continuing with a single tenant. After considering all options, we decided to convert the building into a multi-tenant unit. Since the unit and room layout of the second of the three buildings was originally planned for a larger business, the building would initially yield less returns. By definition, it is easier to attract SMEs as tenants in order to minimise the risk level. A human resources service provider currently occupies 2,500 square meters. We also evaluated the profitability of the project: break-even will be reached in two years.

The search for tenants for this area has its own specific challenges: on the one hand, the landlord poses very stringent expectations concerning tenant credit-worthiness, while on the other hand, the special location imposes specific requirements - HafenCity Hamburg as Urban Development Manager has the final word not only on flood protection.


In order to find the best possible solution for our client, we combined our very own JLL Property Management expertise with that of our Asset Management on both the process as well as the spatial level. The bundling of our expertise resulted in highly satisfied tenants and in long-term commitment to Hamburg's HafenCity. Satisfied tenants are the basis for sound management which enables us to provide our customers with a maximum increase in real estate value.