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Downtown Höchst Support Program

Revitalization of downtown Höchst as a residential and business district


Masterplan, Residential space, Office space, Commercial site

District:




Representation in the project map (German)

Reason for planning
Many people still know the district of Höchst on account of the industrial park on the site of the former Hoechst AG company. Yet Höchst has much more to offer! It has a vibrant old town that boasts Frankfurt’s largest self-contained set of half-timbered structures; these old houses have been protected by a preservation order since 1972. Höchst was a town in its own right until 1928; if you stand on the banks of the River Main what you see is a marvelous historical ensemble consisting of the castle, town wall, the Church of St. Justinus and Bolongaro Palace. For various reasons, Höchst is suffering from dwindling significance, however; this has also spelled a decline in its economic fortunes. Factors that have played a role here are competition from the expanding Main-Taunus-Zentrum shopping mall, the fact that the local authority headquarters has relocated away from the city, and lastly that the main gate to the industrial park has been moved further southward. Yet Höchst offers excellent qualities as a residential and business location which needs to be preserved and expanded in line with the thrust current urban development.

For this reason, based on studies of the district’s structure, the masterplan identified the linkages, deficiencies and opportunities in Höchst. It served as the basis for the 10-year municipal Downtown Höchst Support Program, which the City of Frankfurt put in place in 2006. The City Council approved the support guidelines in 2008.

Development district
The area in question is bordered by Leunastrasse in the west, the River Main and the River Nidda in the south, Russingerstrasse and Bolongarostrasse in the east, and Ludwig Scriba Strasse and the railroad tracks in the north.

Planning objectives
The support program aims to enhance the quality of downtown Höchst as a residential area and business center for large sections of the population.

There is a focus on private construction projects in downtown Höchst. Incentives to invest in buildings are intended to help preserve the invaluable urban fabric and the appearance of the district. Initiatives to modernize and refurbish existing buildings and create new residential space are, on balance, subsidized to the tune of 30 percent the eligible costs. Initiatives seeking to improve living conditions in the district can receive subsidies of up to 80 percent of the eligible costs.

Key factors for the future are PR work and fostering a prime image for the district. Numerous events such as the “Design Parcours” are held regularly and help give all Frankfurt citizens a clear idea of the district of Höchst. Further focal points of the activities of the district management include structural development and consulting services for the real estate sector (vacancy management), stakeholder support and integration as well as networking all involved, strengthening retailing, in particular on Königsteiner Strasse, Bolongarostrasse, Hostatostrasse and Dalbergstrasse, as well as making the district more attractive for tourism and culture.

The Downtown Höchst Support Program also finances projects in urban space – including the redesign of Bolongarostrasse and the restoration of the “Stadtpark”.

Project progress
With the resolution passed by the City Council in 2000 the municipal authorities were commissioned to update the 1990 masterplan, as the problems it highlighted back then have actually not lessened since. Accordingly, a district transport plan and a parking management concept have been compiled and form the basis for planning in this regard. The City Council approved the masterplan in 2006, when they likewise resolved a 21-million-euro support program for the masterplanning, with which new housing and modernization measures were to be financed. To this end support guidelines were drawn up in 2007 and passed in February, 2008.

Since 2008, those planning to build locally have been able to seek advice from the appointed architect, Ms. Lotte Plechatsch, in the neighborhood drop-in center at Bolongarostrasse 135.

Between 2008 and 2011 the City of Frankfurt/Main and with it the district of Höchst took part in the EU’s MANDIE 2008 – 2011 project, which aimed to support and reactivate district centers.

On conclusion of the EU project, negotiations were conducted in accordance with the regulations governing the award of freelance contracts (VOF) and a contract for the management of the quarter put out to tender and duly awarded. In April 2012 Nassauische Heimstätte Wohnungs- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH was commissioned to oversee the project as district manager through its NH ProjektStadt brand. The key focus of this undertaking is to develop a mixed-use district center, the areas that need to be addressed being basic amenities, housing, work, community life, culture, and leisure facilities.

The support provided for building initiatives has been very successful in helping preserve valuable sections of the urban fabric, yet downtown Höchst still suffers from structural deficiencies. NH’s duties include the on-going implementation and organization of initiatives and projects; the development of new initiatives and projects, the inclusion of ideas and wishes submitted by citizens, stakeholders, and local businesses. The district management team intends to uncover shortcomings and the potentials (vacancies, inadequately used premises, dilapidated load-bearing structures, key premises etc.), and by means of pertinent advice and coordination, put the relevant real estate to favorable use.

Since the project began, the Planning Advisory Council has in particular supported the public measures in the district, and advises the municipal authorities and the officials involved. The council consists of stakeholders from the district, as well as political representatives and members of local associations.

 

Information on the project published by the City Planning Department


Project management

Ms. Kathrin Sattler

Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 35585
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 30761