“We want to build a new area of the city from which Hamburg can benefit,” Harald Müller, manager at property subsidiary Landprop told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.
He said the firm was looking for an area of the city to start developing – preferably near an Ikea outlet.
The new district would include housing for thousands of Hamburgers, as well as shops and offices. Potential locations are, the paper said, near the city’s airport or more central, depending where they can find the space.
Plans are yet to be submitted to the city council, though the company said it wanted to include residents in the design process so that the district was “integrated into city life and not elitist.”
Either way, Ikea “wants to stir up the market,” Müller added.
A similar plan has been devised for an area of east London, where Ikea is eying a patch of land twice as big as the one it hopes to develop in Germany. The company has designs for 1,200 houses, offices hotels and retail spaces, all of which should be built in the next five to six years in an area south of the Olympic park.
While Hamburg’s Ikea-quarter does not have a time scale, in the meantime the firm is set on opening a string of budget hotels and student residences across Europe, including Germany.
“We will announce the first location for our budget hotel in Germany in the next few weeks and we are in talks with hotel operators to rapidly implement our concept,” Müller told Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet newspaper last week.
There will be no Ikea branding in the hotels, neither will the rooms be furnished with the company’s furniture as they are to be opened under an established hotel operator.
Opening hotels and student housing is the company’s first move in a step towards joining the property market and it hopes to have them open by 2013 to 2014, Müller told the Hamburger Abendblatt.
Reports that the Ikea homes and hotel rooms will be locked and unlocked with a giant allen keys have not been confirmed.