What do you do with buildings like that?
First of all, we examine whether they can be repurposed. In Zurich-Oerlikon − which is an attractive location − we converted the former head office of Sunrise into an apartment complex. All units were rented within a short space of time.
Will the market need quite so much office space in the future?
The demand for space in Switzerland should begin to stabilize. We do not anticipate a marked expansion in supply. In the future, whether or not a property is successfully rented will also depend on what the landlord has to offer aside from just the space itself. Additional services in and around the rental property are becoming more and more important. At Ambassador House in Glattbrugg, for example, we operate a staff restaurant, provide residents with daycare facilities and a conference infrastructure that is available for flexible use, and take care of various services ranging from dry cleaning to ordering flowers. Tenants value our role not just as a landlord, but also as a service provider. This is reflected in the occupancy rate of 90%.
The greatest challenge for real estate investors appears to be gaining access to suitable properties. How do you approach this problem?
We are in the fortunate position to have an established network behind us that we have cultivated over several decades. Real estate sellers and brokers are well networked with our specialists and know that they can rely on them. This applies in particular to development projects.