State-of-the-art Munich asset with patina
10 / 06 / 21 - 5 minute read
Munich combines Bavarian charm with European sophistication, a mix residents nurture in equal measure. “It’s the mixture that makes it,” is a saying that locals use to describe their “millionendorf” (village of a million). With its famous beer gardens, laid-back lifestyle and cultural sophistication, Munich often tops global liveability indexes. But Munich is also famous for the refined tastes of its well-heeled residents.
Right in the heart of Munich – and very much part of this luxurious cultural heritage – is Lenbachplatz 6. Built in 1904 by the prominent Bavarian architect, Emanuel von Seidl, the listed building is a splendid example of the neo-Baroque style, popular during Munich’s Belle Epoque – a time when the city’s art and culture flourished under Prinz Regent Luitpold. In 2019, it underwent a refit to bring it up to the highest standards for modern businesses.
Lenbach square is one of the city’s most exclusive addresses. It is conveniently close to the Central Train Station and Munich’s main tram and underground network. And it is just a short walk away from the attractions of the old city, including some of Germany’s finest restaurants, bars and cafes as well as its celebrated concert halls, theatres and museums.
In April 2021 PATRIZIA acquired Lenbachplatz from Rock Capital Group (RCG) on behalf of its institutional clients. “With this investment, we acquired an important piece of Munich’s history and a trophy asset in the city centre for our clients,” says Daniel Dreyer, Head of Transactions DACH at PATRIZIA.
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A piece of history
Munich is proudly Bavarian – as was architect Emanuel von Seidl, and Lenbachplatz 6 was created during a period that saw the reigning Wittelsbach family transformed the city from a provincial backwater into a European cultural centre. King Ludwig 1 (1825–1845) began the process. A patron of the arts and lover of ancient Greece and the Italian Renaissance, he commissioned grand boulevards, museums, triumphal monuments and palatial buildings to emulate the neo-Renaissance pomp and splendour of Paris. His successor Maximillian II carried on this tradition, building Munich’s most noble boulevard, Maximilianstrasse, which is around the corner from Lenbachplatz.
Luitpold (1821–1912) was also a patron of the arts and succeeded in making Munich a magnet for Europe’s intelligentsia, as well as a centre of experimentation for a young Bohemian crowd set on finding a new language for the arts. Such was the city’s reputation that when leaving Spain, Picasso was torn between the Bavarian capital and Paris, but eventually opted for the City of Lights.
Lenbachplatz is a typical 20th century square, divided into blocks of grand neo-classical buildings separated by public spaces. Seidl’s building is on the corner of such a block, overlooking the Wittelsbacher Fountain, a monumental tribute to the laying of Munich’s first drinking water pipes. It is one of several architectural gems in the square, including the Alte Börse (old stock exchange) and the palatial Bernheimer House, Munich’s first neo-Baroque building.
The building’s tower and balconies together with the garlands and fantastic animals projecting from its stone facade are typical of the neo-Baroque, which interwove modern elements such as Jugendstil into historical and traditional styles. Each floor differs in proportions and ground plan, with doors and windows opening ever-new perspectives. Inlaid wooden wall panelling, stuccoed ceilings and stone fireplaces add to the interior ambience.
Emanuel von Seidl built several landmark buildings in Munich, including the State Theatre in Gärtnerplatz, the festive hall in the Deutsche Museum and the Augustinerbräu restaurant in the city’s centre. However, his main architectural contribution, for which he was knighted, was in building villas for prominent residents, including the composer Richard Strauss.
Lenbachplatz 6 has had several facelifts. It was rebuilt after being severely damaged in the Second World War. In 2011, its façade was cleaned and restored to its original splendour, winning the prestigious Façade prize from the City of Munich in 2013. And, in 2019 and 2020, a state-of-the-art refurbishment of the property was undertaken in close cooperation with the Bavarian historical preservation society. The interior was gutted and modernised to provide all the features today’s business premises demand, while ensuring historical details were preserved.
All bathrooms and kitchens were completely modernized with high quality materials, and the glass-cased lift was modernised. New windows were also installed, and the roof renovated to maximise energy efficiency. PATRIZIA aims to secure BREEAM certification for the asset to track its sustainability performance going forward. A roof terrace is also planned.
The six-storey, 3,000 sq. m, mixed-use building has a WALT of 10 years, providing long-term, reliable income. Lenbachplatz 6 has a long history of housing prominent and solid tenants in banking, the insurance and chemical industries, while its ground floors have showcased famous art collections and antiquities. Today the ground floor is let to the exclusive Italian furniture store Calligaris. The renowned international law firm Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe occupies 2,100 sq. m of office space across five floors.
It is a strategic investment: Germany is Europe’s leading economy, and the fourth largest internationally. Its federal structure provides investors with a variety of innovative markets, a highly qualified workforce, and one of the lowest-risk investment environments. And Munich is an economic powerhouse, home to most of Germany’s Dax firms including Allianz, BMW and Siemens, and, offering Germany’s highest average income.
“This acquisition aligns with our strategy of purchasing high quality Core assets in sustainable locations that deliver reliable, long-term income to our portfolio,” says Dreyer. “The property also increases our exposure to one of the strongest real estate markets in Germany.”
Dominik Rörich, Head of DACH Funds, comments that, “This property is a great contribution to our new PATRIZIA Gewerbe-Immobilien Deutschland IV. The fund stands for stable, sustainable profitable investments in German commercial properties. Lenbachplatz 6 adds value in a convincing and charming way, we are very happy to have such a building among the first investments.”
Daniel Dreyer, Head of Transactions DACH, PATRIZIA.