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Complete refurbishment and reopening of Spenglerpark in Münchenstein

The CSA Real Estate Switzerland (CSA RES) investment group has successfully carried out a complete refurbishment of Spenglerpark in Münchenstein.

November 2, 2023

Key takeaways

Sustainable modernization

A few years ago, experts discovered deficiencies during renovation work to the facade of one of the wings at Spenglerpark. It quickly became clear that the entire building would have to be completely refurbished. The site was earthquake proofed and all harmful materials were removed.

The main tenants, the health schools of the cantons of Basel-Land and Basel-Stadt, moved to a temporary location during the construction period. A large part of the health education campus rented space on the Klybeck site in Basel-Stadt and relocated back to Spenglerpark two years later with a rental agreement for 20 years. The amount of customized, low-energy rental space has increased significantly as a result of the refurbishment and also meets future energy-saving requirements in terms of spatial and air quality.

The three biggest challenges during the complete refurbishment

1

Where to find replacement space for the tenants for a two-year period?

2

How to turn storage areas into appealing offices and classrooms?

3

How to ensure that the project is completed on time?

1. Where to find replacement space for the tenants for a two-year period?

Before the refurbishment could take place, there was a complex and intensive phase of internal moves and the relocation of tenants to alternative premises. The initial solution that was considered involved setting up a container village in the municipality, but soon someone had the idea of using the Klybeck site as a temporary location for the health schools. Both health schools were ultimately relocated for the duration of the refurbishment to the Klybeck site in Basel-Stadt. Not only was this interim use of the former industrial site exemplary in terms of sustainability, but the influx of students also helped to revitalize the area. 

2. How to turn storage areas into appealing offices and classrooms?

In the meantime, the three wings of the building at Spenglerpark were undergoing drastic refurbishment. Among other things, atriums covering four stories were built to create appealing rental space. This significantly improved the lighting on the individual floors as well as the utilization quality and amenity value. The atriums additionally serve as "green lungs" on account of their greenery. The campus feeling is also evident in the newly designed park: with its green spaces, park benches, shaded areas and secluded spots, the park is a meeting place for students, employees, local residents and passers-by. 

3. How to ensure that the project is completed on time?

The Spenglerpark refurbishment was extremely complex and had to be completed on a tight schedule. It was therefore all the more important to have reliable, well-established partners to carry out the work. CSA RES had already been able to count on Losinger Marazzi and Integral Baumanagement for challenging projects in the past. The construction companies overcame the challenges and met deadlines with the help of innovative ideas. These included, for example, the use of building information modeling beyond the planning and construction phases. The property managers also have access to building data.

One extremely challenging aspect of the project was to protect the insect collection of the Natural History Museum Basel. The basement is home to three million beetles belonging to the museum and it was feared that the vibrations caused by the construction of the atriums could harm them. Various vibration-protection measures were thus incorporated in the planning and implementation phases.

CSA RES geographical breakdown

Source: Credit Suisse AG. Last data point: June 30, 2022. For illustrative purposes only.

CSA RES property types

Source: Credit Suisse AG. Last data point: June 30, 2022. This is an indicative asset allocation that may change over time.

About the CSA RES real estate investment group

CSA RES is an investment group of the Credit Suisse Investment Foundation for pension funds. With total assets of over CHF 8.7 billion, the portfolio comprises more than 230 properties with a young building stock. Only tax-exempt Swiss pension funds are approved as investors. The around 500 investors in the investment group are exempt from taxes on income and capital. In the 2018/2019 financial year, the investment group changed from reinvesting profits to distribution. 

Investment strategy of the Swiss real estate investment group CSA RES:

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1 CSA Real Estate Switzerland (CSA RES) is a real estate investment group of the Credit Suisse Investment Foundation, which is independent of the UBS Group. Compliance with the investment guidelines is reviewed periodically, but at least monthly, by a unit that is independent of CSA Management and portfolio management.

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