The Isola site in Breitenbach, Canton of Solothurn, has an industrial heritage stretching back more than a century. Latterly, however, an increasing number of its factory and warehouse buildings have been standing empty, prompting the sale of the site to Steiner Investment Foundation in spring 2021. Over the next few years, the Foundation plans to transform the 11-hectare, village-centre site into a mixed-use neighbourhood. The new owner has contracted Steiner AG to develop the project.
In the course of the next few years, the 114,280 m² site will progressively become an attractive neighbourhood featuring residential, service and commercial properties, enhancing the existing, successful centre of Breitenbach by the addition of specific use types. Furthermore, new attractive green spaces will be provided to create extra value. “It is by no means our intention to compete with the existing village centre, but to complement it by providing additional attractive services”, emphasises Stefan Gabriel, Team Leader in Steiner AG’s Real Estate Development division. “A site that is currently closed will be opened up to the people of Breitenbach, who can look forward to enjoying the new social and green spaces that will take the place of the existing factory roads and storage facilities”. By phasing the development, the municipal authorities and owners will ensure that work progresses at an even pace and in a way that is acceptable to the local community.
Forward-looking overall design
The southern section of the Isola site (also known as the Von Roll site) will have to be rezoned as part of the intended repurposing from a purely commercial to a mixed-use area. A test planning process for urban and open-space design is being conducted as the foundation for a shared conception of spatial development at the site. Several prestigious architectural practices and landscape architects are being invited to submit development proposals for the site.
Intensive discussions are currently in progress with the municipal authorities in Breitenbach to explore both sides’ ideas and expectations. The aim is to work together to create a forward-looking and attractive new neighbourhood for Breitenbach. Construction work on the first phase, including site remediation, is scheduled to begin in 2029. Certain repurposing projects for old existing buildings may be brought forward. It is planned to facilitate a variety of temporary uses while design work is in progress so that the site can be opened up to the public. In addition, the local community will have an opportunity to get actively involved in the development of the new neighbourhood. As the project progresses, Steiner will be holding various information and other events for this purpose starting in 2022.
Breitenbach is situated in the Canton of Solothurn at the heart of the picturesque, predominantly rural region of Schwarzbubenland, right on the border with the Canton of Basel-Landschaft. Well provided with infrastructure and yet close to nature, it makes an excellent base for commuters, young couples and families. With its location on the River Lüssel, the Isola site will provide a high quality of life in years to come. In addition, direct access to the countryside is fully guaranteed in Breitenbach. Public schools, bus stops and various shopping facilities and restaurants are within walking distance of the Isola site and provide a good local infrastructure.
Steiner Investment Foundation
Headquartered in Zurich, Steiner Investment Foundation is an investment foundation governed by Swiss law. Its real estate projects provide a profitable, long-term investment vehicle for the assets of pension funds from across Switzerland. The Foundation’s assets comprise properties of various sizes in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. Since 1 November 2019, Steiner Investment Foundation has been a member of KGAST, the conference of investment foundation managers. Members of KGAST commit to quality, transparency, safety and co-determination.
Breitenbach is a municipality in the valley of the River Lüssel in the Schwarzbubenland area of the Canton of Solothurn. First mentioned in records in 1152, the village has retained its autonomy to this day. However, the village is by no means resting on its laurels. It has an extensive range of shopping facilities, good schools and, as the administrative seat of the Thierstein district, acts as the regional centre for young and old. Its trade and industrial facilities provide a diverse range of jobs. Breitenbach has attracted a substantial number of new residents in recent years by virtue of the remarkable quality of life it offers. A large part of the municipality is surrounded by a delightful forest belt, which is ideal for rambling. Keeping Breitenbach a lively and inviting place to live is one of the authorities’ primary tasks, and the numerous sporting and cultural associations are testimony to the strong sense of community.
Steiner AG, one of the leading project developers and general/total contractors (GC/TC) in Switzerland, offers comprehensive services in the fields of new construction, refurbishment and real estate development. The company, which was established in 1915, has constructed more than 1,500 residential projects, 540 commercial properties, 45 hotels and 200 infrastructure facilities such as universities, schools, hospitals, retirement homes and prisons. Steiner AG has its headquarters in Zurich and is represented by branches in Basel, Bern, Geneva, Tolochenaz and Lucerne.
Information for the media
Tel.: +41 58 445 20 00, corpcom @steiner .ch
Steiner Investment Foundation,
Viviane Gschwindt, Investor Relations & Marketing Manager
Tel.: +41 58 445 22 68, viviane.gschwindt @steinerinvest .com
Municipality of Breitenbach
David Häner, municipal councillor responsible for safety & spatial planning
Tel.: +41 79 547 46 00, david.haener @bluewin .ch
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In the course of the next few years, the 114,280 m² site will progressively become an attractive neighbourhood featuring residential, service and commercial properties, enhancing the existing centre of Breitenbach by the addition of specific use types.