Tishman Speyer Plans Tower in Frankfurt

The company just revealed plans to build TaunusTurm, a premier 650,000-square-foot office tower in the German city's financial hub.

It’s the third chapter of what Tishman Speyer describes as its “development trilogy” in Frankfurt. The company just revealed plans to build TaunusTurm, a premier 650,000-square-foot office tower in the German city’s financial hub.

 “This project reflects our strong confidence in the investment potential of the Frankfurt market and this outstanding location,” Tishman Speyer co-CEOs Jerry Speyer and Rob Speyer noted in a prepared statement. “Frankfurt is not only an international financial capital; it has been called the most forward-looking city in Germany.” Tishman Speyer tasked Gruber + Klein-Kraneburg Architekten and Jean-Paul Viguier with designing the 40-story high-rise, which will aim for LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The announcement of TaunusTurm’s impending construction comes just one month after Tishman Speyer’s disposition of OpernTurm, a 42-story financial district office tower the company developed in 2009. Upon the closing of the December 2010 sale to JP Morgan Asset Management and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., the 720,000 square-foot building was more than 95 percent leased to tenants that include UBS AG, BlackRock and Cerberus. The company’s Frankfurt trifecta began more than 20 years ago with the development of the 60-story MesseTurm project.

The Frankfurt office market may be saddled with a dismal-looking vacancy rate—17.2 percent, according to a third-quarter report from CB Richard Ellis Inc. However, the tide appears to be turning. In that same third quarter, Frankfurt also experienced a 25 percent year-over-year increase in absorption, and industry experts anticipate further improvement.  By the time TaunusTurm delivers, demand for top-quality product in prime locations will likely have rebounded, outstripping the supply of speculative space. “The first (inquiries) from companies with expansion plans are now coming in,” the CB Richard Ellis report noted.  “Most demand remains focused on high-quality office buildings with a modern standard.”