FOUR PARX PLANS FOR UNDERGROUND TRANSPORT SYSTEM IN HAMBURG ARE GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT
- Successful feasibility study to be followed by concrete planning phase
- Innovative logistics concept to enable city logistics real estate through reduced traffic volume and climate relief
- Project set to begin in October 2020
The constantly growing demands on supply and distribution as well as the increasing goods traffic in downtown locations require innovative logistics concepts. While many cities are already working on ways to make transportation more climate-friendly, the focus is mainly on passenger traffic and on controlling increasing amounts of transport caused by package delivery services. Since this transport sector only accounts for a small part of the total volume of goods in a city, there is a lack of integrated solutions based on a consideration of the overall transport of goods.
FEASIBILITY STUDY DELIVERS RESULTS
One possible solution to this problem is underground supply and distribution via a tube system. As a project developer specializing in commercial space, Four Parx, who is currently building its first two-story logistics property (“Mach2”) with approximately 102,000 sqm of floor space at the Wilhelmsburg site in Hamburg, decided to look at Hamburg as a suitable location for such a solution. The city is also one of the most congested in Germany.
To this end, the project developer commissioned Smart City Loop GmbH to conduct a feasibility study on underground logistics supply and distribution for downtown Hamburg last year. The concept to be examined involves connecting a warehouse with a downtown distribution center (“City”) around five kilometers away.
The study focused on the following key areas: the concept of downtown logistics real estate, the transport system, the search for suitable areas for the construction of the distribution centers as well as the economic efficiency and impact on the environment, climate and traffic. Topics included suitable transportation techniques, geological as well as topographical requirements, construction techniques and legal assessments, the design and equipment of the logistics real estate as well as usage costs, the impact on traffic and the environment, etc.
The study concluded that the underground transport solution is technically feasible as well as economically viable and also makes a considerable contribution to the reduction of CO₂ emissions and traffic congestion in the city.
Accordingly, a delivery capacity of around 2.7 million pallets per year could be processed in the two hubs via the tube system – with a possible 24 hour/300 day operation. This corresponds to approximately 540,000 transport journeys and a CO₂ saving of over 10,000 tons per year.
Over the course of project development, close contacts were established with Hamburg institutions such as the Logistik Initiative Hamburg, the port company and well-known Hamburg logistics companies. The Ministry of Economics and Innovation welcomes the idea of implementing the project in Hamburg and has pledged its support in the search for suitable land for the project in a letter of intent.
CLOSER TO BECOMING A REALITY
“In terms of increasing congestion, noise and exhaust emission problems in cities, the constantly growing volume of transport makes the search for alternative transport systems more and more urgent,” says Francisco J. Bähr, Managing Partner at Four Parx. “As an innovative project developer, we have previously worked on new concepts and solutions to design the logistical supply of cities; so now we are rather pleased to have created a solution for the future supply and distribution in cities with our integrated concept. It is now our goal to enter the realization phase of the project together with the city of Hamburg and Smart City Loop.”
“The results of the feasibility study show a forward-looking solution for the movement of goods in cities,” explains Christian Kühnhold, Managing Director of Smart City Loop. “It has often been argued in the past that underground transport systems are too expensive or not feasible at all. The feasibility study for the city of Hamburg, however, clearly demonstrated that this is not the case.”
FOUR PARX “CITY”
Four Parx has also developed a special downtown logistics property (“City”) for the supply of cities in the last mile, which fits into an urban backdrop and also saves space. This has 12,000 sqm of usable space which is spread out over six floors. In order for this logistics real estate to gain acceptance in local politics, the economy and among the population, an innovative and environmentally friendly transport concept is required. While searching for a solution that would relieve the burden on the city, the project developer’s attention was drawn to the Smart City Loop idea, which is intended to supply cities on the so-called penultimate mile via an underground transport pipe.
Four Parx envisioned a transportation system without combustion engines (e-bikes, bicycle couriers or electric-hydrogen vehicles) on the last mile from the multi-story “City” building to the customer.
FURTHER STEPS PLANNED
A consortium led by Four Parx has now made various planning preparations ready for the next step of implementation, identified potential investors for the construction of the tube and begun the search for sites to construct the distribution centers in Hamburg Mitte and Altona respectively. Other cities in Germany and Europe could follow suit if the implementation is successful.
ABOUT FOUR PARX:
Four Parx GmbH, based in Dreieich, Germany, specializes in the project development of innovative commercial and logistics space. Four Parx designs and develops innovative and sustainable building and space concepts with a visionary focus on sustainability, new mobility solutions, an alternative energy supply, digitalization, compact space planning and high flexibility.
Experienced real estate professionals have joined the ranks at Four Parx GmbH; project development expert Francisco J. Bähr, architect Oliver Schmitt who specializes in commercial real estate, and real estate manager Marcus Jungheim.
Four Parx is proud of its 25 years of experience in project development. With a team of over 25 employees, Four Parx is currently developing over one million square meters of land for commercial and logistics properties in Germany.