CBRE Report: Transition of Düsseldorf’s Königsallee sets benchmarks for sustainable, forward-looking urban development

  • Königsallee as the beating heart of Düsseldorf’s city center
  • Around 150,000 sq m earmarked for office and retail space
  • Enhancing the city center's appeal through high-quality mixed usage

In new report in the “Future Cities” series, CBRE as the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm analyzes the potential of Düsseldorf city center with a focus on the Königsallee (“Kö”). As with the previous editions on Berlin and Munich, the Future Cities: Düsseldorf Report can be downloaded via the CBRE website.

Max Schultheis, City Lead Düsseldorf & Rhein-Ruhr

The Königsallee is the beating heart of Düsseldorf’s city center, as it always was. The process of transition, particularly on the western side of the world-famous magnificent boulevard from the former “line-up of banks”, into vibrant and sustainable urban mixed-usage sets new benchmarks for urban development and taps fresh potential for residents, visitors, tenants and investors.

Max Schultheis, City Lead Düsseldorf & Rhein-Ruhr
Dr. Jan Linsin, Head of Research

The requirements placed on contemporary, functional city centers are changing at an ever faster and more intensive pace. In particular, the emphasis going forward will be placed even more strongly on conserving materials and the economical use of space, on high amenity quality, diversification and mixed usage, along with sustainable mobility concepts.

Dr. Jan Linsin, Head of Research

The report identifies four building blocks that are critical for urban development aimed at achieving sustainable city centers and that are being successfully implemented in Düsseldorf:

  • Invigorating urban life by introducing mixed usage and architectural flagship projects
  • Improving the city climate and the amenities by having more public places and green areas, flanked by modern, networked mobility offerings
  • New and converted buildings harnessing the highest sustainability standards for energy efficiency and conserving resources
  • Creating central premium space for office, retail, gastronomy and culture

The “Kö” as the focal point and bridging element of Düsseldorf’s city center

Düsseldorf city center has undergone radical change in past years. Key infrastructure projects such as extending the Wehrhahn Line as an additional metro route and the construction of the Kö-Bogen Tunnel enable urban redesign in the area of the Königsallee by strengthening the link of the Kö with the old town and the Central Business District (CBD). Among other measures, reinstating the historical link between the Kö and the Hofgarten and Kö-Bogen II that boasts Europe’s largest green façade with around 30,000 hornbeams considerably improves the city center’s recreational quality and micro-climate.

Anja Scholz, Associate Director Research

The urban measures completed to date have laid the foundations for numerous developments and for the Kö to evolve into a significant urban service provider and retail Boulevard and a bustling, integrated location.

Anja Scholz, Associate Director Research

In this context, an analysis recently conducted by CBRE shows that the Kö as a catchment area for the Rhine-Ruhr region had expanded significantly by 2022 compared with 2019. In addition, the time spent by passers-by increased considerably in 2022 as against 2019, particularly in the attractively designed areas with greening such as the Hofgarten, Corneliusplatz and Kö-Bogen II. Similar effects can be anticipated from the redevelopments, including the redesigning of Heinrich-Heine-Platz and plans for the construction of Düsseldorf’s new opera house, also on the west side of the Königsallee that was traditionally home to many banks.

"Particularly in the northern area of the Kö we are seeing a remarkable cluster of premium developments on a relatively small area right in the heart of the city. All in all, more than two billion euros have been earmarked for investment in the coming years,” Schultheis comments. “Mixed usage consisting of space reserved for offices, retail and gastronomy will dominate more strongly than before – and, with the recent decision taken to rebuild the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (opera and ballet), culture.

High-quality developments and mixed usage enhance the appeal of the entire city center

Office space totaling approximately 100,000 sq m has been planned in the CBD submarket, which represents around 15 percent of the current office stock in the CBD. Furthermore, almost 50,000 sq m of premium retail and gastronomy space is to be built or repositioned in the northern part of the Kö.

The Kö as a location and CBD submarket remains one of the most desirable locations for office occupiers in the Düsseldorf market. The new buildings will fuel rental growth, driven by the rising cost of construction and financing, as well as price mark-ups for ESG-compliant fitout. The new space will be an interesting prospect especially for core investors,” Schultheis says in assessment. 

“The quality of office space continues to polarize in line with the flight to quality. In terms of the existing stock, it follows that a manage-to-ESG strategy will be indispensable for securing a sustainable future for the assets,” Linsin adds.


About CBRE

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE: CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2022 revenue). The company has more than 115,000 employees (excluding Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.

CBRE Germany has been represented by its head office in Frankfurt am Main since 1973; there are further branch offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Essen, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart. www.cbre.de


Max SchultheisDr. Jan Linsin
City Lead Düsseldorf & Rhein-RuhrHead of Research Germany
+49 (0)211 860 66 162+49 (0)69 17 00 77 404
Anja Scholz 
Associate Director Research 
+49 (0)211 860 66 149