Industrial Site and Facility Development

Relocating or expanding an industrial business site significantly requires long-term planning and implementation processes. In addition to a variety of organizational and commercial considerations, the legal framework for such a change is of great importance. We have supported a number of large industrial companies with the relocation of their production and research and development sites. Early on in the process, we help to identify and lay the groundwork for the resolution of legal issues and challenges. Prior to the final relocation decision we identify and document significant legal issues in the form of an accurate and coherent "decision roadmap".

We can also assist in examining possible alternatives. At the outset, an evaluation matrix encompassing both commercial and legal decision making parameters should be developed. Zoning, planning and permitting requirements are amongst the many inputs to be considered. These define possible constraints, for example, compliance with an emissions control regime or the identification of potentially relevant third party objections.

The "right" location may also ultimately be influenced by access to public subsidies (particularly in the area of ​​R&D). Again, our wider experience on other such projects can be invaluable in ensuring that a fully informed location decision is taken.

We manage and coordinate the ensuing planning application processes as well as regulatory approval procedures. As an integral part of the project team we coordinate our client’s requirements closely with those of the other project partners including public authorities, policy makers, and lenders. In the implementation phase it is important to identify potentially serious disputes and address these early and proactively; where required this risk can be effectively managed through the development of a "claims heat map".

Our team has advised:

  • a large industrial company on its relocation out of ​​the former free port area (now developed into the HafenCity) to an alternative site in Hamburg;
  • the relocation of a large industrial company from Hamburg to Schleswig-Holstein;
  • on the site development and expansion, including through a change of zoning law, of the corporate and production headquarters of a large industrial company;
  • in connection with the merger of several industrial sites to a new industrial site; and
  • on the relocation of a large distribution center for print media.