Six months after the opening of the new international airport for Berlin and Brandenburg in Berlin-Schönefeld (BER), the Tegel Airport in Berlin is to be closed. The site will then be converted to create a research and industrial park for urban technologies: Berlin TXL – The Urban Tech Republic.
The focus of Berlin TXL will be on the things that will keep alive the growing metropolitan centres of the 21st century: the efficient use of energy, sustainable building, environmentally-compatible mobility, recycling, the networked control of systems, clean water, and the use of new materials. This will be the meeting place for young entrepreneurs, students, investors, manufacturers, and scientists, where they can work together to develop and produce solutions for the cities of tomorrow, and export these worldwide.
After the closure of Tegel Airport, the site will offer scope for creating new employment. In addition to the existing buildings, 211 hectares of project area will be available for up to 1,000 companies with 20,000 employees in the Research and Industrial Park alone. In the central airport terminal, the Beuth University of Applied Sciences will establish the scientific core of the new technology park, with up to 2,500 students. It is envisaged that the adjoining areas will be used both for research and development and for manufacturing companies. Berlin TXL will also make an 80 hectares area available for industrial uses – the largest single inner-city development area in Berlin.
It is planned to establish the research and industrial park in four construction phases. In the first phase, parts of Terminal A will be converted for Beuth University of Applied Sciences and commercial uses, among other applications. The Berlin Fire & Rescue Academy will move into the large hangars, because fire safety and disaster management will also be one of the key topics for the cities of the future. Terminals B and D are envisaged for congress areas and young high-tech entrepreneurs, in new start-up and technology centres.
Return on Investment
According to a study carried out by empirica AG, it is expected that Berlin TXL will be providing some 20,000 jobs in the research and industrial park by the end of the development period of about 25 years, generating a value added of nearly EUR 1.3 billion every year (based on estimated 17,500 jobs). Assuming that for every direct employee there is one further dependent employee in Berlin, then the overall employment effect will amount to about 34,000 employees, who will generate a gross value added of some EUR 2.2 billion per annum.
The annual revenue for Land Berlin from income tax, trade and company tax, and value-added tax would then total about EUR 150 million. The construction phase would also provide employment for a further 1,200 workers from Berlin and surrounding areas, generating a gross value added of some EUR 64 million.
What are the next steps?
The Tegel Projekt GmbH has made use of the delays in opening the new BER airport to carry on with its planning activities, e.g. for the roads and buildings, for the future conversion of the terminal building, and for the urban development planning. In 2013, it has produced an infrastructure concept for the airport site and a design concept for the urban development guidelines and is working on a feasibility study for operator models for technical infrastructure.