Friedrichshain ‒ the New “Place to Be”
Friedrichshain just keeps on growing. Numerous new building projects embellish the cityscape while enhancing the living experience of this hip district.
It is impossible to overlook: Friedrichshain is changing. Formerly an industrial area, it has long become one of Berlin’s most attractive districts, featuring a flurry of stylish cafés, bars and cultural amenities while remaining bold enough to keep reinventing itself. The East Side Quartier more or less symbolises this enterprising spirit. Several new hotspots are under development around Mercedes-Benz Arena in Friedrichshain, including the Entertainment District, the Zalando Campus, the East Side Mall, and the East Side Tower. In 2013, Mercedes-Benz opened its new-build sales centre west of the Arena, home to more than 1000 staff now. In many respects, Friedrichshain simply is the place to be.
Feel like dancing? Playing? Dining? If so, Friedrichshain will fill the bill: Just outside Mercedes-Benz-Arena, an American-style night-life district is under construction – the Entertainment District. Once completed, it will feature a music hall, a hotel, a multiplex cinema, several restaurants and a bowling alley. All of it within easy reach for local residents: Good times!
Construction is also under way east of Mercedes-Benz Arena. Attention shopping queens: Near Warschauer Brücke, a shopping centre with a projected retail area of 24,800 square metres on three levels is in planning under the name East Side Mall. Featuring 120 retail units, among them fashion boutiques, non-discretionary retailers and restaurants, the mall is conceived as an urban market place.
Close to the Ostbahnhof railway station, Zalando is creating an entire quarter. But far from being insensitive, the new building projects will complement the existing structures and eventually combine into a single campus where a total of 5,000 Zalando staff will start working in 2018. Right around the corner on Warschauer Strasse and next to the East Side Gallery, a 140-m office high-rise called the “East Side Tower” will go up.
By 2018, local residents and visitors will begin to able to see first signs of these exciting projects as they take on shape. But it is already safe to say that Friedrichshain is about to transcend its image of mainly a family-friendly district with trendy café, and to develop into a cultural hot spot with a wide variety of options and a very bright future.