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Berlin: Groundbreaking Takes Place for New Highrise at ‘Alexanderplatz’

The construction of a new highrise at Alexanderplatz square in Berlin commenced today. ‘Alexander Berlin’s Capital Tower’ will supposedly be completed in late 2023.

Berlin’s silhouette has always been changing, and it will continue to do so. At Alexanderplatz square, in the center of it all, a new tower will be growing for the coming three years, before its keys are being given to the owners. Why all good things take time is unclear, but they do.

Hundreds of Apartments

With its 150 meters (492 feet), the ‘Alexander Berlin’s Capital Tower’ was supposed to become Berlin’s highest building, not counting the TV Tower, but it won’t. That is because the Estrel hotel will start building its Estrel Tower in early 2020 which will be 175 meters (574 feet) high. Yes, it’s like boys with toys. “My sandcastle is higher.”

At its location, the intersection of Grunderstrasse and Alexanderstrasse, the ‘Alexander Berlin’s Capital Tower’ will have as many as 377 apartments on 35 floors, four underground floors, a spa, a conference center, a restaurant, a sports area, a swimming pool and a movie theater.

Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller was going to take part in the turn of the shovel ceremony for the new building on Wednesday. Obviously, the German capital is growing upwards at an increasing pace. Around Alexanderplatz, the ‘Alexander Berlin’s Capital Tower’, financed by Russian investors, will be competing with other high constructions, including the Park Inn.

Old Plans Dumped

Soon, yet another highrise might be built at Alexanderplatz. An American investor has already signed some contracts for a large project, but the planning phase does not seem to be completed. Originally, as many as twelve new buildings were supposed to be erected in the area. That would have meant tearing down big building built during GDR times, including the Park Inn. Those plans were thrown overboard.

But other construction projects are ongoing. Those include a huge tunnel project. The ‘U-Bahn’ train lines U5 and U55 are being merged as we speak. New underground stations are being dug. In a year from now, the first trains will supposedly use them. Since the construction involves underwater parts, it turned out to be quite challenging.

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In the thirty years since the reunification of Germany, Alexanderplatz has mainly seen cosmetic improvements. Only now, the square, which is not exactly the most beautiful one in the world, will really be changing.

Planning and building highrises in Berlin is not that easy, also because the Senate defined requirements not every builder is happy with. For instance, the ground and top floors need to be accessible to the public. The city state of Berlin also insists on a certain percentage of social housing units, even in luxurious towers.