New district created as a result of successful collaboration

An owner with close ties to all things cars and mobility and a property company assuming the role of project developer and general contractor. Two business partners that appear to be very different on the surface but actually have a lot in common, including high quality standards, a reputation for being reliable and skilled staff with a clear focus on giving their customers what they want. In Adliswil, Allreal is developing a mixed-use neighbourhood for the Merbag.

In the early 2000s, the town of Adliswil issued a revised plan for the Dietlimoos area between the A3 motorway and Zürichstrasse, some of which was being used for agricultural purposes and the rest of which was empty. This laid the foundations for an attractive residential district with ample green space on the outskirts of Zurich.

Between 2007 and 2011, Allreal developed a residential complex with over 450 rental apartments and condominiums in the southern part of the Dietlimoos area (Lebern-Dietlimoos).

Back then, Merbag commissioned Allreal to conduct initial studies into the development of the Dietlimoos-Moos area directly to the north. The Merbag Group with a workforce of around 2,700 employees takes care of sales and aftersales for Mercedes-Benz and Smart in Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria and, as of 2022, Germany and is a big property owner too. With some property in Dietlimoos in its portfolio, Merbag had plans in place for a residential complex with ground-floor space to be used for commercial purposes and a new car showroom. At the planning stages, Merbag managed to acquire plots from various owners over several years until they ended up with a continuous area covering more than three hectares.

The urban development plans drawn up by Zurich-based architects Theo Hotz Partner involved the area being divided up into several lots, for each of which a competition was opened up to prestigious architecture firms. This approach increases the architectural finish for each of the buildings, whilst diversifying the accommodation options on offer and ensuring that the whole development doesn’t end up looking too uniform. The owner also set out other requirements, specifying that clinker bricks would have to be laid by hand to create the facades and setting high standards for the outdoor spaces and inner courtyard areas. “Beautiful gardens have become a kind of tradition that is very important to the family that owns the Merbag Group. For several generations, they have been working alongside the exceptional quality and design of Mercedes-Benz and they apply the same standards to their properties, which should be upscale and built to last with the next generation in mind”, explains Mario Freiberger, Owner Representative of the Merbag Group. The Minergie-P standard applies to all of the buildings, with solar energy systems in place to generate power.

As a property company with its own projects and development division and a property portfolio worth more than CHF 4.5 billion, Allreal is intimately familiar with the requirements of a property investor. This experience helped everyone involved during the submission window for the architecture competitions and when it later came to optimising projects. “Identifying and flagging up added value for our customers is one of our superpowers. And it ends up paying off for both parties”, says Peter Zimmerli, Team Head for Project Development at Allreal, who has been involved in the project from the word go. “We are working with the owner – in line with the relevant legal provisions – to create an exciting prospect for future tenants that will be good value for money.”

You can’t miss the eight cranes on the construction site when you’re flying down the motorway to Zurich right now. Construction began back in November 2019 and building work across all areas is now well underway. And since the project started being marketed under the name “Höfe Adliswil”, lots of people registered their interest on the website, meaning the initial letting phase could get off to a successful start in the summer.

There are many reasons behind the decision to commission Allreal for the realisation of the residential buildings in Dietlimoos too. Allreal has plenty of experience, having successfully developed, planned and realised several large sites in recent years, including the Grünhof site in 2020, the Bülachguss site in Bülach-Nord in 2016, the Freilager site in Zurich Albisrieden in 2013 and the Richti site in Wallisellen in 2010. A project team of experienced employees with years of service is another key to guaranteeing consistency and continuity in Dietlimoos and holding on to that all-important knowledge over several years of construction. Head Project Manager René Sethmacher, who has been working at Allreal for over 20 years now, keeps an eye on everything. With the help of his team, he coordinates the work of up to 300 tradespeople. It is down to him to ensure that the work is up to scratch and that schedules and budgets are adhered to.