The Real Deal New York

Berlin developers attract tenants with historic amenities

February 23, 2014 04:00PM

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Investor Simon Schaefer and the property know known as the Factory, where both SoundClound and Monzilla have signed lease

Investor Simon Schaefer and the property known as the Factory, where both SoundClound and Mozilla have signed leases (source: Bloomberg News)

WEEKENDEDITION Developers in Berlin are embracing their past and attracting tenants with unique and historic amenities.

For instance, music-sharing startup SoundCloud and Mozilla, maker of the Firefox Internet browser, have both inked deals in a former brewery that was once a part of the Berlin Wall, according to Businessweek.

Other new developments aimed at tech tenants include an office with the remains of a Nazi bunker in the courtyard, and another that features windows once used as lookouts for East German border guards.

“It’s a cool way to build on history,” Berlin real estate investor Simon Schaefer, said. “You see the East German architecture, you see the 19th century neighborhood, and then you have something modern we’ve put on top. That’s the essence of Berlin.”

In another example, the Berlin outpost of Soho House, a private clubhouse chain, was developed from the East German Communist Party’s headquarters.

“There’s a need to deal with the history,” Schaefer told Businessweek. “And one of the most positive ways to deal with it is to create something positive and tolerant and forward-looking.” [Businessweek] Christopher Cameron

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