Vienna, 11 January 2018 – THE ICON VIENNA at Vienna’s new Central Railway Station, with its three different towers, is an architectural creation at this major business location which will provide the city itself with a new image. The multifunctional office complex, which will be completed by SIGNA close to Vienna’s new Central Railway Station by autumn 2018 in the district of Quartier Belvedere, will be a major feature in shaping the future image of the city’s 4th and 10th districts, and is only a few minutes on foot from the city centre. Since construction started in November 2015, the building work has been steadily progressing, and today, on Thursday, marks the celebrations of the topping-out ceremony.
“THE ICON VIENNA is truly impressive, not only because of its excellent location at the Central Railway Station, the new gateway to Vienna, on the Wiedner Gürtel ring road, one of the city’s main arterial routes. It is also the only office building in the area with direct access to the public transport network of Vienna’s underground and urban railway systems, and to the long-distance rail network of the ÖBB, Austrian Federal Railways, as well as to the newly created BahnhofCity mall, with all its infrastructure amenities. The connection to the top quality transport network is just as impressive. This is supplemented by a system of bicycle paths of the best possible arrangement”, says Christoph Stadlhuber, SIGNA Managing Director. The three towers are connected by a common base storey area, which will feature an attractive meeting area, with retail outlets to match the requirements and an excellent array of catering services as well. THE ICON VIENNA offers modern office premise, which are both flexible and efficient. Any configuration is possible, from the individual office to the open-space solution.
“Construction projects in very confined spaces are always a particular challenge. In the case of THE ICON VIENNA, it was not possible to carry out an open excavation, and we created the basement area by what is called cut-and-cover. With such a complex undertaking, the construction schedule and the operational sequence needed to be planned exactly – this calls for real precision work. This was where our full service organization came into action on this project. Thanks to the experience of our team, all the work involved in securing the excavations and the site in general, the demanding civil engineering tasks, and the innovative design of the façade, were completed two months ahead of schedule”, says Karl-Heinz Strauss, CEO of PORR AG.
In the past few months it has also been possible to find four attractive and long-term tenants for the project, in the form of BAWAG P.S.K., Merkur, with the leading Austrian tax consultancy and auditing company TPA, and with the world’s largest foods corporation, Nestlé. “This tenancy mix of famous names, paired with the modern conception, the high economic attraction, and the inviting location of THE ICON VIENNA also prompted the Allianz, in the summer of 2017, to purchase the project, a year and a half before completion, by way of a “forward deal”, as Stadlhuber explains.
SIGNA Highlights of 2017 and a look forward to 2018
SIGNA can look back on the past twelve months with a great deal of satisfaction. The forward deal involving THE ICON VIENNA was just one of a number of outstanding real estate sales which the company was able to score over the last year. As well as THE ICON VIENNA, it also proved possible to sell substantial parts of the AUSTRIA CAMPUS in Vienna’s Praterstern area in a forward deal, again about a year before the completion of the project, to PGIM Real Estate. With a volume of more than EUR 530 million, this sale marked the biggest real estate transaction of 2017, and the biggest office property transaction in the whole of Austria. To round off the successes of the year, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (WWW) also acquired the Campus Building 1 on the AUSTRIA CAMPUS, with the aim of establishing its new centre there in autumn 2018.
“In the real estate division of the Group, there will continue to be major investment in our core markets of Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy. With a volume of new developments of more than EUR 5.5 billion – more than EUR 2.7 billion is being invested in Vienna alone – we are one of the largest real estate developers in Europe, with total property assets of more than EUR 10 billion”, says Stadlhuber.
In 2018 there will be more office properties completed than ever before. This will amount to some 300,000 m² (in comparison with about 150,000 m² in 2017), and SIGNA will be responsible for the development of around 60 % of these spaces, with their major office developments already described, the AUSTRIA CAMPUS and THE ICON VIENNA. The general trend, that large-scale tenancies will be won by properties with good transport and communications locations, with good infrastructure, and with a concept focused on the future, will continue in 2018. There has also proved to be a high demand for central cluster sites, such as the new Vienna Central Railway Station or the Praterstern area.
“Our focus in 2018 will also be set very emphatically on the construction of residential property. Together with our subsidiary BAI Bauträger Austria Immobilien GmbH, we have thousands of residential properties in the pipeline for the years to come”, Stadlhuber explains. By way of example, SIGNA is starting the new year with the construction of the project designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects and Coop Himmbelb(l)au, “Wohnen am Schweizergarten”, Living at the ‘Swiss Garden’. The building, which is likewise located at the Central Railway Station, is planned to accommodate offices and more than 400 apartments. The FORUM DONAUSTADT project will also provide a district of mixed functions and resources at a central nodal point in the northern part of Vienna. “This means that SIGNA will be remaining true to its markets and main interests in 2018 as well”, says Stadlhuber in conclusion.
The SIGNA Group, founded by Austrian entrepreneur René Benko, is a purely privately run and commercially operating industrial holding in the real estate and retail sectors. The company, with real estate assets of more than 10 billion EUR and an additional development volume of a further 5.5 billion EUR, is one of the most significant real estate investors in Europe, and with over 20,000 employees and a turnover of more than 3.8 billion EUR is a major trading concern in Germany as well. The Group consists of two central core divisions: SIGNA Real Estate and SIGNA Retail.
SIGNA Real Estate employs some 200 people at nine locations in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The gross asset value of the real estate group comes to more than EUR 10 billion, and the development volume stands at a further EUR 5.5 billion. SIGNA Real Estate is subdivided into four business divisions: These are SIGNA Prime Selection, SIGNA Development Selection, SIGNA Luxury Hotels and SIGNA Funds. More information at www.SIGNA.at.
Visualisations © SIGNA
PK photos © SIGNA/Katharina Schiffl
Site photo © SIGNA/Philipp Derganz