HANOVER, GermanyContinental A.G. has identified a site just east of central Hanover as the preferred location for the company's future headquarters and has opened negotiations with city officials on acquiring the land.
Conti is looking at two plots, one north and one south of Hans-Boeckler-Allee, near the city's iconic Pferdeturm, a 14th century watch tower that once was part of the city's wall. Pferdeturm means horse tower, which complements Continental's prancing horse corporate symbol.
The plots cover a combined area of nearly 405,000 square feet. Conti said it plans to link the two plots structurally should the headquarters be built there.
We are planning to build our new headquarters there in the form of a modern construction with a campus-style design that is a striking feature for both the city and our company and facilitates communication, according to Elmar Degenhart, chairman of Conti's executive board.
The site will have reserve space for potential developments in the future, he added.
Signaling that the negotiations were on the right track, Hanover Mayor Stefan Schostok said Continental and Hanover belonged together.
We will provide professional support in terms of design and construction for all further steps in the creation of modern Continental headquarters in Hanover with an interdisciplinary project team, Mr. Schostok said.
Continental announced in February it was scouting for locations to move its corporate function to a new HQ. Five locations in Hanover, as well as a nearby town of Garbsen were on the list.
We made the decision in favor of Hanover after carefully considering all advantages and disadvantages based on important criteria such as costs, transport links and administrative support, Mr. Degenhart said.
The two parties hope to conclude the negotiations by year-end, with the transfer of ownership planned for the first quarter of 2017. The move to the new headquarters is to be completed in 2020, in time to coincide with the group's 150th anniversary in 2021.
Conti said it expects the project, including the acquisition of the land, construction and interior design, to reach into the high double-digit million dollar range.
In February the company told European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sister publication of Tire Business, that it expected to increase the number of its corporate function staff to 1,250 from 750.
According to Continental, the company's rubber division and Conti-Tech unit, which has a plant next to the current headquarters site, will not be part of the move.