In the next two years formart GmbH & Co. KG will construct eight residential buildings with 116 condominiums right next to Theresienstraße U-Bahn station, in one of the few remaining large courtyard areas in Munich’s city centre. Harald Meerße, managing director at formart, explains why “Therese” is perfectly suited to the lively character of Munich’s Maxvorstadt district, whilst also being a peaceful haven right in the centre of Bavaria’s state capital.
It’s not every day that you get a chance to build eight residential buildings in one of Munich’s top locations, how were you able to do this?
As one of Germany’s leading developers of residential real estate, searching for suitable sites in prime locations is a major part of our work. But having the opportunity to build in Maxvorstadt — right in the heart of Munich — is a particular honour, given the history of the place and the remarkable dynamic of this district.
What makes Marxvorstadt special, in your view?
I know of very few districts that have such a high degree of urban life — not just compared to other German cities, but on an international scale as well, in my opinion. Everything that makes city life what it is can be found in Maxvorstadt, with two elite universities, the Alte Pinakothek and the Neue Pinakothek, and a number of other museums. The district has a wealth of cultural and educational opportunities that rank among the best in Europe. The location also features a rich culinary scene ranging from traditional taverns, to sushi and tapas bars and Munich’s first Laotian restaurant. There are also specialist food shops right beside our “Therese” development, from organic bakeries and a long-established butcher’s shop. With features like this, it’s no wonder that this Munich district is continually attracting new residents. In the last ten years alone, the population has risen by more than 25 per cent.
What will your “Therese” project contribute to the attractiveness of Theresienstraße and Maxvorstadt?
With “Therese” we are bringing life to an idea that many people have in mind when it comes to owning homes in the city: enjoying its advantages, and at the same time having a quiet space to retreat. There is no doubt that centrality is the major guiding theme of our times. We are coming ever closer to the old European model of how cities work, with its density and proximity, which is a welcome development, not least from an ecological point of view. That is why “Therese” surrounds a number of green spaces, quiet courtyards — which are a typical feature of Maxvorstadt as a whole — and spacious green roof gardens and terraces. These elements make our “Therese” project into something special, particularly the eight individual penthouses. In this regard, we are providing the added attraction of a wide-ranging view across Maxvorstadt. Because, naturally, places where people enjoy shopping, strolling and socialising, are also places where they will enjoy living.
What target group are you hoping to appeal to with “Therese”?
To echo the diversity of Maxvorstadt, we want to provide housing that is also diverse. We consciously conceptualised the 116 apartments so as to cover a variety of housing needs. From the City Maisonette apartment with its own private entrance, to the Penthouse with a roof garden full of greenery and a roof lounge. The individual floor plans of the penthouses and rooms, with an area of over 90 square metres, provide the ideal setting for an evening with friends or other social occasions.
Presumably the penthouses are very sought-after — are any still available?
The “Therese” penthouses are attracting attention, even in Munich, where developments like this are relatively common. Each of the eight apartments is a unique piece. With sizes ranging from 200 to 335 square metres, in some cases spread across two storeys, living here is like being on holiday every day. Marketing has been going well from the very beginning for all apartments. Most of them have already been sold and those few spacious penthouse apartments that are still available are experiencing plenty of demand.
What is the project’s current construction phase, and when do you think it will be finished?
We are well on schedule. The first storeys of the structure are in place, so we expect to celebrate the topping-out in autumn 2017. We expect the whole project to be completed during 2019.