At the Niederhasli (ZH) site, HIAG is currently constructing an office building of approximately 3’500 m2 and about 4’300 m2 of production halls, where between 70 and 100 people will be employed by Doka Schweiz, a company specialising in formwork techniques. Doka Schweiz’s transfer in 2020 will free up the 16’500 m2 Niederhasli railway station area for long-term development of the centre. HIAG won over the municipal council with its concept for Niederhasli due to its progressive increase in high-quality use of the town centre. The council therefore showed its support by granting a special permit for Doka Schweiz’s new building within the planning zone in question. The groundbreaking took place in the second half of 2018.
The special building permit was necessary because at the end of 2014 the municipality of Niederhasli imposed a planning zone over the entire industrial area of Farn and Fevlig / Egelsee. The municipality is taking its time rezoning an exclusively industrial area with a total surface area of 235’000 m2 into a mixed use area, including commercial and living spaces. “It is essential that we plan our medium and long-term urban development professionally and in consultation with our neighbours,” explained Marco Kurer, Niederhasli’s mayor.
The high-quality design of HIAG’s new building in Niederhasli’s industrial quarter offers Doka Schweiz excellent working conditions and ensures the future existence of the attractive building even if the quarter around the railway station continues to be redeveloped with a focus on residential use. At the same time, as a well-integrated limit to the industrial zone, it creates conditions for higher value positioning of development in the freed-up central area.
Three questions for Marco Kurer,
mayor of Niederhasli
What was the key factor for the special building permit for Doka Schweiz’s new building?
In 2013, the municipal council declared the area around Niederhasli railway station a central zone as part of a BZO revision. Within the framework of an inter-municipal development strategy, the eastward expansion of a mixed residential and commercial zone was considered. Although Doka Schweiz’s building project, which includes commercial buildings and storage areas for Doka Schweiz, is not a project that complies with these long-term development perspectives, and despite a legally binding planning zone, the municipal council agreed to grant a building permit, thus offering Doka Schweiz the possibility of expanding as an attractive employer within the Niederhasli municipality. One of the decisive factors was that the area concerned is located in the rear portion of the development site around the railway station. In the coming years, the central zone is expected to develop mainly around the railway station, where Doka Schweiz’s current premises are situated.
What has your experience been as mayor of the collaboration with HIAG?
Cooperation with HIAG as property owner and developer has been very pleasant. The political representatives and the municipal authority, with its focus on construction and environmental services, all share this opinion. HIAG’s willingness to entertain a dialogue, its openness and its understanding of political and formal processes are particularly appreciated.
What are you hoping for with respect to the long-term development of Niederhasli’s centre?
In addition to the existing town centre around the community hall, maximum use should be made of the development potential around Niederhasli’s railway station. Interesting businesses will be encouraged to settle here, creating new jobs and securing existing ones. In addition, attractive new housing is under construction in close proximity to the station. The overall appearance of the railway station area will become more attractive in the medium term.