Tesla Giga Berlin is triggering a rapid housing initiative in Brandenburg

The impending activation of Tesla Gigafactory Berlin will require a rapid expansion of housing initiatives in the area, according to a recent government report. The report, which also warns of potential housing shortages if not enough residential areas are established quickly, was presented this Tuesday at Potsdam. 

The 214-page report was created by the joint state planning department of Berlin and Brandenburg in coordination with 22 municipalities, districts, and the Berlin area of Treptow-Köpenick. Considering that the Giga Berlin facility is expected to start the first phase of its operations sometime this year, housing projects must be developed rapidly, especially in this year and the next. 

“In the immediate vicinity of the Tesla plant, an increased demand for living space is to be expected, which cannot be covered with the available potential. It becomes clear: the first housing offers must be developed quickly, especially in 2021 and 2022,” the report noted. 

As noted in a report from Handelsblatt, expectations are high that Tesla could employ about 6,500 workers for the facility’s initial activation later this year, with the site’s headcount growing to 12,000 workers upon Giga Berlin’s first expansion phase. Once completed, reports have suggested that Tesla could employ as many as 40,000 people in Grünheide.

With this in mind, the recently-released report has noted that about 8,000 apartments would be required for the first phase of Gigafactory Berlin. About 25,000 housing units would likely be needed to accommodate the workers for the facility when Giga Berlin is completed. As such, the report noted that there is a “significant need for action.”

Granted, a significant number of workers employed at Gigafactory Berlin will likely not need new residential units because they live in or near the factory. However, Tesla’s arrival will likely result in several businesses and companies establishing their presence in the area as well. The employees of these companies will also require housing. 

To enable a rapid buildout of housing units for Giga Berlin workers, the first housing projects must be in areas where building rights already exist or could be created at short notice. Fortunately, Brandenburg Infrastructure Minister Guido Beermann (CDU) has mentioned in a previous interview that about 600 hectares could be used for residential construction in the short and medium-term. The recently-released report has expanded this, with the document outlining 3,300 areas for residential construction and 286 for commercial use. The question now, it seems, would be focused on if the residential units could be constructed at the pace of Giga Berlin’s expansion.

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