Klybeck: From an industrial park to a new residential neighborhood.

In the northern part of Basel, a new neighborhood is being built in the Klybeck industrial zone. A consortium of real estate specialists, including Credit Suisse Asset Management's Global Real Estate unit, is combining forces to develop the largest former industrial site in Switzerland. It is an innovative model for major projects of this kind in the future.

April 24, 2020

If you walk along the eastern bank of the Rhine River in Basel, your path will take you straight to the Klybeck industrial park. Situated on the riverside promenade headed toward the German border, the industrial park is wedged between apartment buildings and the Rhine. A transformation is taking place right now in the northern part of Basel. Today, the closed site belonging to BASF and Novartis is opening up and offers room for a new neighborhood with France in view just on the other side of the Rhine. Someday, where research and production used to take place, people will be living and working.

A project on a scale like no other

An industrial park larger than this has never been built in Switzerland. The purpose of the project, dubbed Klybeckplus, is to convert the site, covering a whopping 285,000 square meters, or roughly 40 football fields, into a city neighborhood with a new identity with room for businesses and modern residential and outdoor living spaces. A streetcar and suburban rail line will provide access to the Klybeck site, which also serves as a hub for connections to the neighboring districts of Kleinhüningen, Horburg, and Matthäus. The green heart of the development will be Horburgpark.

An ideal partnership

A project of this scale is made possible thanks to the collaboration of various experienced partners and investors. For example, the investment company Central Real Estate Basel (CREB) acquired more than half of the entire site in the spring of 2019. CREB is part of the Central Real Estate Group and is investing in forward-thinking real estate projects in prime downtown locations with the goal of sustainable and practical development of urban habitats. It is being supported by a consortium of experienced real estate and property strategists, namely Credit Suisse Asset Management's Global Real Estate unit, Mettler2Invest, and Nova Property Fund Management.

"The partnership between experienced real estate experts and the ways of getting the public involved serve as a model for future collaboration on development projects with this level of significance."

Raymond Rüttimann, Head of Real Estate Switzerland

In the summer of 2019, Swiss Life purchased the remaining part of the Klybeck industrial park, which belonged to BASF. The two companies CREB and Swiss Life are developing the Klybeck site as a whole together with the Canton of Basel-Stadt.

This approach offers the one-of-a-kind opportunity to consider the giant industrial park, plus its connecting green spaces, open spaces, and streets, as an interconnected, overarching project and to develop it in the interest of all.

"Through our close cooperation in a consortium and with the former owners, plus the Canton of Basel-Stadt, we are generating valuable synergies. The different perspectives and experience are leading to innovative approaches and future-oriented ideas,"

says Raymond Rüttimann, Head of Real Estate Switzerland for Credit Suisse Asset Management.

Planning is moving forward

The planning work begun in 2016 is continuing with urban development test planning and the development of various future scenarios for the entire site. Invited to submit ideas, the public has been involved since the very beginning. The Canton of Basel-Stadt, Swiss Life, and CREB are currently defining and devising approaches to the next phases of planning. From that, the overall urban planning concept for the Klybeck site will then be created. The comprehensiveapproach will allow the partners to devise an integrated project that serves all stakeholders, taking into account their needs as much as possible. That makes the Klybeck site part of a major transformation in the northern part of Basel.

The former research and production facilities on the Basel-side bank of the Rhine will be turned into a new residential neighborhood that provides room for businesses and modern residential and outdoor living spaces.

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