Located to the east of Munich’s centre, Berg am Laim became a prosperous suburb of the Bavarian capital thanks to its clay deposits and brickworks, but was never one of the city’s prestigious residential areas. That might be about to change, however, with a range of commercial property developments set to give this comparatively central Munich district a new lease of life – without, of course, impinging on the old-world charm of the area, primarily known for its stunning St. Michael’s church.
The creatives are coming
Within striking distance of the hip urban workshops of the Ostbahnhof area, the north east part of Berg of Laim will be home to a new creativity hub called the Munich Art District – a concept which, according to developers Art-Invest Real Estate Management GmbH & Co. KG, Streitfeldstraße 17-19 GmbH, Optima-Aegidius-Firmengruppe, and Accumulata Immobilien Development GmbH, is supposed to do more of less what it says on the tin. Similarly to the creativity hubs at Arnulfpark and Sendling, the area delimited by Berg-am-Laim-Straße, the middle ring-road ( Mittlerer Ring) and the S8 train lines out towards the airport is intended to become a centre from which new business and planning impulses radiate.
The project’s focus will lie on the industrial, urban style of the area – a style underlined by a current crop of new-builds such as Die Macherei (Weihenstephaner Straße 8), New Eastside Munich (Streitfeldstraße 25), and Streitfeldlofts (Streitfeldstraße 17-19). As the project website for New Eastside puts it so well, “striking brickwork façades and loft-style interiors bring a touch of New York to Munich”; nevertheless, the architects and municipal planners have ensured that the area’s own special character has been retained.
Don’t forget your roots
This approach stems from the realisation that authenticity comes from an awareness of origins. As such, and in contrast to many other new-build districts, the Berg am Laim projects are characterised by connections to the area’s history, with their architecture referencing an industrial backstory which dates from the late nineteenth century, when Berg am Laim was known for its clay extraction and the brickworks in which it was processed. First documented in 812 as “ad Perke”, its suffix “am Laim” (originally “auf dem Laimb”), which means “on clay”, was added in 1430. It was these clay deposits and the brickworks which grew up around them which allowed the area to become a prosperous part of the city, but the signs of this prosperity have all but disappeared today; in contrast to neighbouring districts such as Trudering and Bogenhausen, elegant townhouses are conspicuous by their absence in an area now characterised by standard-issue residential blocks with little individual charm. The new projects planned, however, might just give Berg am Laim the facelift it needs.
More than just office space
As such, the new commercial developments have taken a conscious decision to not restrict themselves to office space. The concepts are for mixed-use spaces bringing together the professional and the personal, offering a range of after-work activities in a way that will make the area attractive both for commercial tenants and for their staff. Gyms and fitness facilities, restaurants and roof-top bars, hotels, supermarkets, and smaller retail spaces are also planned as part of this highly diversified new-build project which will create a local infrastructure perfectly in tune with existent transport connections: with the middle ring-road running right past, the A94, A8, and A9 motorways are all easily accessible.
Increases in property prices to be expected
As the area becomes increasingly attractive, the new commercial development in Berg am Laim – and its knowingly trend-conscious name Munich Art District – are likely to precipitate a broader upswing in the local property market. Since the development of the Ostbahnhof Werkviertel, the districts to the east of central Munich have become some of the most dynamic up-and-coming areas for office lettings in the Bavarian capital – a process which new commercial developments such as Streitfeld Lofts, New Munich Eastside, and Macherei will only accelerate. This, in turn, makes rises in property prices and rents highly likely, especially in view of the overall strong demand for office space in Munich, which is outstripping demand by quite some margin.
In the Werksviertel redevelopment, there have already been tangible jumps in asking prices, and the current spate of big-name companies securing early leases in the Munich Art District bear witness to how attractive the project already is:
Adesso AG, Gruner + Jahr & Co. KG, MSD Sharp & Dome GmbH, and Design Offices GmbH are all on board, with the €20/m²-barrier well and truly broken. Looking forward to 2022/2023, forecasts point to €25/m², and a comparison with 2015/2016 suffices to show just how steep the rise has been: back then, a square metre cost €15. Overall, around 150,000m² are planned over the coming three to four years.
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