Mannheim converts a former US Army base into a showpiece district

A new district of Mannheim is currently being built on the site of the former Benjamin Franklin Barracks. The 144-hectare construction site is the largest in Baden-Württemberg and one of the most important development projects in Germany. Scheduled for completion in 2025, it will provide housing for 8,000 people as well as office buildings, shops, schools, and day-care centers. The development project has a budget of EUR 230 million. Drees & Sommer supported MWS Projektentwicklungsgesellschaft during purchase negotiations and is assisting with the conversion process. The experts also ensured the viability of the project.

The new district will include loft apartments in factory halls.

The district offers space for a range of types of housing. In addition to rental apartments and condominiums ranging in size from 30 to 200 square meters, there will also be space for collaborative projects. Greenspace, sports fields and an arena will occupy 60 percent of the area. The new district will also have restaurants, craft shops and modern workshops, thus contributing to a vibrant environment. The innovative energy concept, which integrates buildings with the mobility infrastructure, is one of the model aspects of the Franklin barracks.

In the early stages of the project, Drees & Sommer helped MWSP to develop an appropriate strategy. Development consulting experts carried out technical due diligence in advance, assessed the state of buildings, analyzed the usability of established buildings, and calculated investment costs. The vendor, the Institute for Federal Real Estate (BImA), and MWSP agreed on a valuation report. On this basis, the team developed a structure plan with market-oriented development phases. Drees & Sommer then supported MWSP during negotiations with potential investors. The construction work began in the spring of 2016.