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Securing commercial zones

The City of Frankfurt’s industrial and commercial estates serve first and foremost to promote commercial business. This takes the form of providing a sufficient supply of land for work-intensive, manufacturing, processing and service operations. The idea is that in particular companies relocate to these estates that have operations that would otherwise disturb life in other parts of the city and are therefore impressible there.

The existing potential in the City of Frankfurt’s commercial parks is, however, also in demand for usages for which there is no compelling reason why they should be located in such zones. The objective is to counteract this trend and to ensure that the more commercial areas, which are limited, are not assigned to competing usages, such as retail outlets, hotels, or computer centers.

View of the commercial estate at Mannheimer Werft in Osthafen @ City of Frankfurt Planning Dept.tadtplanungsamt Frankfurt am Main

Because they are willing to pay higher prices, when it comes to the purchase or rental of land the latter companies are often able to win out against usages that depend on locations in commercial estates. This can go as far as threatening their survival and can lead to companies being squeezed out of their traditional areas. It is therefore critical when awarding sites that usages typical of commercial estates be prioritized and the existing land resources be utilized sparingly and efficiently.

By means of suitable urban planning instruments, the City of Frankfurt is pursuing the goal of securing the existing potential sites for these target groups and creating investment certainty for existing companies and those wanting to locate to the commercial estates.

The relevant stipulations can help to keep land prices in the range typical for commercial estates and ensure that landowners do not retain land because they expect land prices to rise. Corresponding stipulations under planning law and master-planning can avoid pressure to change usages and land speculation. Those usages which are not dependent on a commercial estate can be persuaded to locate to more suitable places.