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South of Rödelheimer Landstraße

Urban development draft, Offices, Commerce, Housing
District: Local district:
2, 7
Size of area:
28,5 ha
Project management:

Ms. Miriam Kuroczynski
Telefon: +49 (0)69 212 36474
Telefax: +49 (0)69 212 30761

Project description

Reason for planning
“South of Rödelheimer Landstrasse” is a prime location in the City of Frankfurt. The site is defined by a mixture of high-quality commercial outlets and brownfield sites, businesses in the immediate vicinity of existing residential buildings on Rödelheimer Landstrasse, as well as vacant premises. In particular the aspect of “local development” urgently calls for rezoning of the site.

With a view to redeveloping the zone south of Rödelheimer Landstrasse plans were made as early as 2009 for the statutory planning requirements for a modern commercial district complete with office and residential buildings. To this end, zoning maps were developed ready for public disclosure.

Due to conflicts under planning permission law, and these could not be resolved, the plans for the zone have now been adapted. Consequently, the procedural step of public disclosure needs to be repeated. Of special relevance here is the necessary relocation of companies, whose location within the zone to be developed have thus far thwarted development as previously planned; the outcome is not yet foreseeable. In the 2009 urban design proposal several existing companies were on sites now designated for residential homes, public green spaces and roads, meaning that the realization of the plans hinged on relocating said firms. Moreover, Siemens AG reconsidered its plans for the future use of the premises. The company now intends to in the medium term relocate all units it has in this area and therefore no longer opposes the zone being dedicated to residential development.

These fundamental changes to the overall conditions call for a revision of the existing plans and the adoption of new planning approaches.

Development district
The site in question is bounded by the Main/Weser rail track in the east, Rödelheimer Landstrasse in the north, Ludwig Landmann Strasse in the west, and the Frankfurt-West – Frankfurt/Rödelheim LRT line in the south. In the south, an area from the City-West complex has been included in the scope of planning to facilitate a decision on the construction of an underpass beneath the LRT tracks.

The geographical scope of development plan no. 834 – South of Rödelheimer Landstrasse covers an area of some 28.5 hectares.

Planning objectives
The draft design envisages a concept that will reflect the needs of those established companies which are unable to relocate in the foreseeable future by including them in the replanning as far as possible. Individual businesses situated on Rödelheimer Landstrasse play a decisive role. Odor emissions from Burka Kosmos, a company that makes grinding disks, have to be taken into consideration, along with above-average noise emissions from two freight companies.

The focus will be on planning and developing a self-contained urban mixed-use quarter complete with residential buildings, service outlets, commercial structures and accompanying facilities. In a move to connect the district to other downtown quarters the intention is to augment infrastructural links to the adjacent neighborhoods. The incentive here is to hook the zone up to Ludwig Landmann Strasse and to City West south of the railroad tracks.

Project progress
The project got underway in 2003 on the back of intentions by Siemens to build in the zone in question. Subsequently the Siemens Group abandoned its plans, thus necessitating modification of the urban planning objectives. However, despite the withdrawal of a major investor, the intention was for planning to go ahead. Developments already initiated in the zone called for meaningful urban planning regulations, while property owners and users needed a sound and reliable basis for planning going forward.

The return to the drawing board provided an opportunity to rethink the zone’s development potential in the context of changed economic conditions. Among other things, the focus shifted in favor of increasing the proportion of residential units in the district.

Two planning firms were commissioned to develop new concepts for the area. The City selected the design proposed by Berlin-based Planungsgruppe 4 for further elaboration as part of the planning process, and it was revised accordingly.

The new plans were presented to the Consultative Local Council in October 2006. Several information sessions were then held to give local citizens the opportunity to discuss the impact of and opportunities provided by the planning.

The development plan was made available for public inspection from July 29, 2009 to September 11, 2009. The plan is currently being revised on the basis of numerous statements and suggestions that were thereupon received.

At the same time, the City Planning Department has been in regular consultation with the companies concerned. The City has now succeeded for the first time in developing a feasible basis for relocation with a company willing to do so and in relation to this evolve new opportunities for development at a different location within the city limits.

However, the parties involved were unable to solve the legal issues in relation to planning permission. In 2013, Berlin-based Planungsgruppe 4 joined forces with Frankfurt’s City Planning Department to develop a new urban design concept.

The design concept together with a proposal for potential future development and the structural concept (which lays the basis for the development plan to be established) are available as downloads (see below) and illustrated in detail on the following pages.

The property owner and the companies under the ambit of the plans have already been involved in the procedure and informed about the objectives and potential progress in the planning procedure in a number of meetings.

The concept was presented to the public as part of the meeting of Local Consultative Council no. 7 on February 25, 2014.

The City Council passed the amendment to the resolution on May 22, 2014.

The application made by the Municipal Authorities (M250 2013) was approved, with the proviso that

“(a) the Municipal Authorities shall, if necessary, consider more recent interests by property owners in residential construction that may also extend beyond the zoning plan, provided that this is compatible with the continued operation of existing businesses located within the commercial sections as designated in the zoning plan, and

(b) as regards the entire development district the Municipal Authorities shall evaluate whether a balance of mixed and residential areas and suitable noise protection may help curb potential conflicts between existing businesses and new residential developments that are moving closer, with special emphasis on noise emissions.”

The development plan proposal is currently on the drawing board, with special attention accorded to the steps illustrated above.

More informations

Urban design proposal

The urban design proposal in question illustrates feasible exemplary structures that will be required in the development zone in the future.

The development zone hinges on a mix of predominantly residential units with auxiliary service outlets and central facilities, including commercial sections and defining green areas. The key design element here is the central band composed of public green spaces and social infrastructure. The zones to the north and south of it are earmarked for well-designed residential quarters with car-free courtyards. The central urban band not only links these quarters with one another, but is also connected to the local amenities. The large retail area is conveniently located in the center of the zone, on the corner of Rödelheimer Landstrasse with Birkenweg, meaning that it can also serve the surrounding districts. The closed structure of the apartment building on the eastern edge of the ambit shields the zone from the rail tracks. The concept of residential quarters that are accessed via cul-de-sacs is continued westwards along Rödelheimer Landstrasse, until it culminates in a new road that links Rödelheimer Landstrasse with Morsestrasse. Closed structures extending along Ludwig Landmann Strasse complete the development zone in the west.

The previous objectives for commercial section A in the southwest will essentially be retained, meaning that the existing companies in this zone will be integrated into the planning. Moreover, the existing companies in sections B and C will be included as pre-defined zones in the planning. The thoroughfares on Morsestrasse will be retained and extended; its transport links with Ludwig Landmann Strasse are considered absolutely necessary.

The course of the road with the planned “Birkenweg - An der Dammheide” underpass departs from the old proposal. Now the route extends parallel to the property of the Burka Kosmos commercial business (eastern section B). Most of the planning for the sections south of the rail tracks will be retained, with only slight modifications as a result of changes made to the spatial layout of the underpass.

In a move to enable efficient access to the zone, Kasernenstrasse, which currently extends along the eastern fringe of the development zone, will be shifted west by the width of a single building plot, where it will border the zone’s transport infrastructure.

The intention is to keep building heights uniform in line with the previous urban design proposal. Accordingly, the majority of buildings located on the roads will be five stories high, while those overlooking open spaces and the internal infrastructure will have mostly three and four stories. Only along Ludwig Landmann Strasse do plans envisage taller structures in harmony with the existing high-rise.

Urban design proposal as at July 2013, © Stadtplanungsamt, Kartengrundlage Stadtvermessungsamt Frankfurt am Main

Structural concept underpinning planning permission

The structural concept underpinning planning illustrates the potential distribution of land uses in the zone and serves as a bedrock for the development plan, presenting the essential planning features.

In the future, those existing companies that wish to continue operating here will be situated in commercial zones. By stipulating restricted-use commercial zones, which only permit activities that do not impair the quality of residential life, it is hoped that apartment buildings can be feasibly located in the direct neighborhood. To our present knowledge, today the majority of commercial outlets in question would already qualify for such a restricted-use commercial zone. The intention here is to define the structure of these commercial zones, potentially including the adjacent areas, based on an expert study assessing noise emissions from the existing companies and facilities. This is currently being completed. According to an expert report on odors (already completed) the zones to the east of the company that makes grinding disks should be kept clear from residential developments due to likely odor formations. The central area is large enough to accommodate extensive retail outlets. As a welcome side effect, this helps maintain the distance to the residential structures as required in the above expert survey on odor emissions.

The development zone ends with a mixed-use area to the west and east. Mixed-use areas have likewise been chosen to round out the development along the new underpass on account of increased traffic volumes in connection with the City-West complex. While the mixed-use zones in the northeast serve as buffers to the Fermont freight company and the rail tracks. The zone’s definitive structure will be determined on the basis of the expert report on noise emissions that is currently being completed. The surface areas of these mixed-use zones will provide ample scope for the distribution of residential units and other suitable uses that are not in conflict with residential requirements and in accordance with the requirements stated in the BauNVO (German Land Use Ordinance).

As illustrated in the noise emission analysis conducted for the previous development plan proposal, the noise emitted by rail traffic (Frankfurt West-Rödelheim LRT line) did not as such call into question the siting of a residential area north of the LRT tracks. The plan is to conduct a detailed examination based on the urban development proposal in question.

Unbuilt areas for public use will be realized as parks and green zones. Only in the central area, adjacent to the local amenities, the intention is to create a generous public plaza for leisure and recreation.

The required child daycare facilities can be integrated as part of the central green strip, alleviating the need for specially allocated communal zones. It is expected that these care facilities will be realized through urban development contracts.

Plots will be allocated in close agreement with the development plan proposal made available for public inspection in 2009.

Structural concept as at July 2013, © Stadtplanungsamt, Kartengrundlage Stadtvermessungsamt Frankfurt am Main