Questions from Public Meetings


 

  1. Which renters have committed to the Westfeld commercial space? Is wohnen&mehr looking for certain types of tenants?Is there more information regarding the fitness club?
    wohnen&mehr (w&m), the developer of the Westfeld site, is already well advanced with plans to rent commercial space within the refurbished Felix Platter Areal. These include the following businesses and other facilities:
      - Fitness Club (700 m2)
      - Small supermarket
      - Food hall
      - Neighborhood meeting point
      - Rentable meeting rooms
      - Kindergarten
      - Day care centre
      - Restaurants/café
      - Bicycle parking
      - Various small shops

  2. Do you know which renters have committed to the residential space? Do you have some idea of the eventual mix?
    In addition to Wohnen+ Basel (W+B), other tenants so far include the Lebenswerte Nachbarschaft (LeNa) housing cooperative which will have its own building with approximately 70 apartments, and the Bürgerspital Basel plans 20 assisted living apartments.  Overall, there will be some 500 individual apartments and the demographic mix will be similar to that of Basel-Stadt.

  3. Have you taken a decision on a fireplace in the ground floor Cantina?
    This is planned

  4. Can people rent the meeting rooms for classes or to practice music?
    Yes

  5. Any thoughts on trying to get GGG to locate a library and/or classrooms on site?
    GGG has no plans at the moment to locate a branch in Westfeld. If this remains the case, there will be a book deposit facility in the Areal.

  6. Is there an emergency entrance to the new hospital? What are the rules for sirens? How close to the entrance will sirens be allowed?
    The hospital will not have an emergency entrance and therefore sirens will not be an issue.

  7. Will there be plantings on the top floor (i.e. raised flower beds)?
    Space to accommodate urban gardening is planned for the site.

  8. When will you take a decision on dogs and cats?
    This will be covered in the w&m house rules, due for completion at a later date in 2019.

  9. Can we request changes to apartments during the build phase, with the understanding that we will pay for any increase in cost, and any changes will remain when the apartment is vacated?
    If approved by the w&m steering committee, we will be able to request some upgrades to our set of W+B apartments prior to the build phase. However, any upgrades would apply to ALL W+ B apartments.

  10. People are concerned about having enough space for visitors during peak periods, such as Christmas. Is it possible to reserve one or more Joker rooms for Wohnen+ Basel? Is there a strategy for managing peak periods?
    Joker rooms will be available for medium to long term rentals. In addition to Joker rooms, w&m has a number of guest rooms (2 family and 6 single) available for short term rentals and these can be booked in advance.

  11. Is it likely that we will be sharing our floors with families?
    There will be a mix of apartments, some family-sized, on each of the floors we will occupy. 

  12. Would it be possible to locate our apartments on a single floor?
    Neither w&m nor W+B feel that locating all of our apartments on a single floor will be in the best interests of either community, as it does not foster integration. Moreover, a single floor configuration will not allow room for expansion in the event of a greater-than-planned uptake of W+ B apartments.

  13. Can people already reserve apartments in the Felix Platter-Spital building?
    No. The process for reserving the w&m apartments has not begun yet. You can find more information on their website: www.wohnen-mehr.ch

  14. Will it be possible to own the apartment?
    No. All apartments will be offered on a rental basis only.

  15. Are you planning to have a special climate control system? Which low-energy consumption standard will be implemented?
    No, there is no special climate control system. However, the refurbished building will be designed and equipped for high standards of high- and low-temperature insulation. The building will conform to the international 2000-watt society. You can find more information under: www.2000-watt.bs.ch

  16. Will blinds be provided? Can windows be opened?
    The flat windows will be fitted with blinds. There will be windows which can be opened, and where needed, they will be suitably fitted with guard rails to prevent anyone from falling out.

  17. Will there be underfloor heating?
    Yes, with heating provided by subterranean heat pumps and solar panels.

  18. Will there be extra insulation or carpeting under the rooftop Cafe? Insulation for Laundry rooms?
    Measures will be taken to ensure minimum disturbance from the rooftop café and laundry areas. This will be handled through w&m House Rules.

  19. How will you ensure that residents of Westfeld have the correct residency permit for Switzerland and if so, what kind? (B, C?).
    All tenants have to be legal residents of Basel-Stadt.  Tenancy requirements will be managed by w&m and W+B will adhere to their rules.

  20. Any rules on notice period for eviction?
    All matters relating to eviction will be covered in the w&m House Rules, due to be published during 2019.

  21. Will sub-leasing be allowed?
    Sub-leasing will be allowed. The limitations will be described in detail in the in the w&m House Rules, due to be published during 2019.

  22.  Will 3 elevators be sufficient for 130 apartments?
    Yes, 3 should be more than enough. Standard calculation is one elevator for every 60-90 units.

  23. Will the windows provide sufficient soundproofing?
    All of the windows will be replaced, and all current Swiss building standards, including that for heat and sound insulation, will be adhered to.

  24. Will there be the option of a bathtub?
    Our apartments will be equipped with showers, as all apartments must be barrier-free and eco-friendly, and walk-in bathtubs are not only much more expensive but also use more water.

  25. Can we have a public bathroom on each floor?
    In the interests of keeping costs down, we are planning for a single public bathroom in the common room. In addition, there will be public toilets on the ground floor of our building.

  26. Will the number of washing machines be sufficient?
    There will be enough washing machines to enable one complete wash day per week (Mon-Sat) for each apartment.

  27. What cost controls are in place to avoid the final rent and deposit price to suddenly rise and when could this happen?
    Rents and deposits will be based on the planned cost to build, operate and maintain the site. These costs will be set following a standard competitive bidding process and a controlled process for managing changes. We will be informed of any significant changes. Baring this, any final changes will be minor.

  28. We may want to increase the number of apartments for W+ B. How would this work, when would we have to make a decision?
    The number of W+ B will be fixed, however, we are looking into the possibility of a model that would enable limited number of people renting in other parts of Westfeld to participate in the W+ B community.

  29. When can we schedule site visits?
    A Site Visit is scheduled for 30 April from 11:00 - 12:00. For insurance reasons, space is limited, so please send us an email as soon as possible if you would like to come along.

  30. Why are rents more favorable for cooperatives than for other providers?
    The purpose of a non-profit building cooperative is, among other things, to create affordable housing. In contrast to traditional housing providers, cooperatives do not return profits to private investors. Any surpluses flow into the cooperative, where they remain as reserves for renovations and refurbishments, the disbursement for which will be decided by cooperative members. Rent is calculated so that "only" the costs incurred are covered. The latest data from the Federal Office for Housing (BWO) show that in cities the rental income for conventional rental apartments is on average 24% higher than for co-operative housing.

General Comment on Rent

As construction costs will not differ for cooperatives as compared to other housing providers, the rent for cooperatives in newly buildings is only slightly lower than that of conventional landlords to start - such as will be the case in Westfeld. Due to the lack of pressure on returns and the abandonment of speculative transactions, the rental income of cooperatives is expected to develop significantly lower than the market rent over the years and decades.