2. MUNICH REAL ESTATE CONGRESS – Focus on green high-rise buildings and development potential in Munich-East

Photos: Paul Günther

Historically high rents, the vacancy rate for offices at a record low of 2.6 percent, only a few available spaces for new developments and an overloaded transport infrastructure: the ongoing growth of Munich lets the city face great challenges. Together with the representatives of the real estate industry, Christian Vogrincic, founder and CEO, and Anatol Obolensky, board member and COO of CV Real Estate discussed how these challenges can be mastered at the 2nd Munich Real Estate Congress in early June. They also talked about how the interaction of private investors, developers and the public sector can contribute to this.

The Munich City Planning Councillor, Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Merk, made the dimension of this topic clear by using a few statistics: Munich, already Germany’s most densely built-up city, is expected to grow by a further 300,000 inhabitants by 2035. This poses major challenges for urban planning. Despite the high demand for residential and commercial space, the historic cityscape and the many green spaces shall be preserved. The scope for further densification in the city center is therefore limited.

Merk pointed out that new creative concepts are needed. She called for more original and sustainable architecture, more high-rise buildings, even over 100 meters, and strong new areas with a mix of various usages.

More courage for green high-rise buildings and an intelligently linked infrastructure

An argument that Christian Vogrincic gladly picked up: “We need more courage in Munich for green high-rise buildings and an intelligently linked infrastructure”, so his thesis. From his point of view, green buildings offer three key advantages: “They do not destroy green spaces, they are much more climate-neutral than conventional buildings, and they have a positive impact on people, flora and fauna.”

The example of Singapore shows how a city can efficiently promote the construction of green skyscrapers, reports Vogrincic. Singapore requires that the space occupied by a high-rise building is replaced on the same scale by new green spaces surrounding the skyscrapers or being part of it. About how to do it, the constructor, the developer and the architect can decide individually.

Christian Vogrincic is convinced that this principle can also be applied to Munich, at least in some parts. “In any case, we are happy to work together with the city and others from the real estate industry to develop a concept for the construction of sustainable high-rise buildings.”

The future of the Munich office market lies in the east of Munich

Another answer to the challenge of the Munich office market is the mobilization of space reserves in the peripheral districts close to the city center. “The future of the Munich office market lies in the east of Munich”, Anatol Obolensky summed up his assessment in the panel discussion on the office market at the Munich Real Estate Congress. “There is sufficient space between Vogelweideplatz and Hüllgraben and the distance to the city center is not far.” That is why the east of Munich is a very attractive location for office development and the construction of green high-rise buildings, as well as an exciting area for a meaningful cluster formation for residential and commercial buildings.
The premise for tapping this potential, says Anatol Obolensky, is: “The expansion of public transport, for example through the Tram 19 Plus and a better linking of public transport and individual transport.” Further examples of this are the consistent promotion of car sharing and electric mobility throughout the city and the introduction of autonomous collective taxis modelled on MOIA in Hamburg.

On the bottom line the discussions showed that there are certainly alternative ways to realize additional commercial and residential space even in dense Munich. Innovative approaches, such as green high-rise buildings, and the mobilization of further potential in peripheral areas close to the center, such as the east of Munich, are definitely part of this. The better and more closely the various market players work together, the easier and more effective these approaches will be.

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