A guide to serviced offices and office space to rent in Bremen as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in Bremen.
History & Geography
Located on the Weser River near the North Sea, Bremen is one of the most important and influential cities in north Germany. The first mention of the city is by the great Ptolemy in 150 AD, when he refers to it as a settlement of the Chauci, an ancient German tribe. By the end of the 3rd century the Chauci had integrated with the Saxons and Bremen had grown into a sizable town. After a drawn out war ending in the eighth century the Saxons were defeated by the Franks and Bremen was forced to become a Christian city. By the 13th century the city was an important economic and imperial entity in its own right, and in 1260 it joined the powerful Hanseatic League, a guild of traders which controlled all commerce on the North Sea coast. When the Protestant Reformation came to Northern Germany, Bremen became a predominantly Lutheran and Calvinistic city. There was extended conflict between the two groups, which was eventually solved when the Bremian Protestant Church was founded, bringing both under one umbrella. During the 30 Years’ War in the 17th century Bremen managed to maintain its neutrality and was never seized, mainly due to its strong fortifications and a strategy of buying off invaders. In the 19th century however a new threat arose in the form of Napolean. In 1811 he succeeded in seizing the city, however in 1813 was forced to retreat from Northern Germany. Bremen maintained its independent status and became a centre of ship-building, with the first German steamship manufactured in 1817 in the city. In 1837 Brauerei Beck & Co KG, one of the world’s most famous breweries, was founded in the city and remains to this day. During WWII the city was severely bombed by the Allies and damaged extensively. After the war it was occupied by the American military.
Today Bremen has a thriving economy made up of a variety of industries. A major employer in the area is Airbus, which has a large assembly centre in the city. The site is the second largest Airbus facility in Germany after Hamburg and includes such functions as the assembly of landing flaps, wing units and other parts. The company also maintains its Centre of Excellence in the city, which is responsible for the design and manufacture of lift systems for the wings of the Airbus planes. Mercedes-Benz also maintains a factory in Bremen, making the C, CLK, SL, SLK and GLK series. Beck & Co is also a major employer in the region and brew both their headlining brew Becks and St Pauli Girl in the city. Bremen’s port as once known as ‘the key to Europe’ however is no longer a major functioning hub of trade, with the exception of being an important centre of wine importation. Additionally a large number of food manufacturing companies have their headquarters in Bremen, including Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, Frosta, Nordsee, Hachez, Azul Kaffee and Vitakraft.
Bremen is not one of those European cities which relies heavily on the tourism industry on the tourist trail as such. However for the visitors that do end up in the city, there is a fair amount to do and see – lots of it related to the storied history of Bremen. Many of Bremen’s best sites are found in the Old Town (Altstadt), which is an area of the city surrounded by the Weser River to the southwest and former moats of the medieval city walls, the Wallgraben on the northeast. Bremen’s Town Hall, erected in the 15th century boasts a beautiful Gothic style, but an opulent Renaissance façade, built later in the 17th century. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is the city’s statue of the legendary Frankish knight Roland, the city’s protector. The statue also dates from the 15th century. Among the city’s most popular attractions is Bottcherstrase, which has a compelling mix of Gothic and Art Noveau. Many visitors also go to the Schnoor, a small area of crooked lanes full of fisherman’s houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. The area now has a swathe of artisan shops, galleries and cafes. The medieval harbour of Bremen, Schlachte, is lined with riverside pubs and bars and is a popular place for a night out. The city does also have some events which usually draw a crowd, the largest being the Freimarkt, which is one of the oldest markets in the world and one of the largest in Germany.
Bremen has its own international airport located approximately two miles from the city, which serves almost three million passengers every year. The city itself is easily navigable with the S-bahn, which covers the entire Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region, all the way from Bremerhaven in the north to Twistringen in the south. As well as the S-bahn the city also has tramway and bus services, both operated by Bremer Strasenbahn AG.
Bremen’s office market survived the financial turmoil of 2008 and 2009 better than most European cities. This was mainly due to the stability of the main industries in the city. Of late there has been an upswing in demand for office space, especially that are over 5,000 square meters. In inner city Bremen the average rent is approximately EUR 8.30 per square metre per month. However in the new grade A projects of Airport City and Technology Park rents can be as high as EUR 10 per square metre. Currently Bremen has a vacancy rate of seven percent, which is one of the lowest in the region.