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Lyoner Quarter

From office district to Lyoner Quarter

Offices, Housing
District: Local district:
5, 6
Size of area:
88 ha
Project management:

Mr. Matthias Genth
Telefon: +49 (0)69 212 44338
Telefax: +49 (0)69 212 30731

Project description

Reason for planning
The Bürostadt Niederrad district is faced with a high rate of vacant offices (totaling a gross floor area of some 250,000 – 300,000 square meters). To combat this problem, Frankfurt’s City Planning Department has devised a masterplan that illustrates ways in which the district’s mono-functional fabric can be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use urban district.  The first of its kind, this trailblazing project is attracting interest also among the experts.

Development district
Within the Frankfurt metropolitan region, Bürostadt Niederrad is centrally located between the airport and downtown and has excellent links to both interstate and LRT networks.

Its prime location in the city paired with the fact that existing developments alternate with extensive greens, and the proximity to the municipal forest and the Main River mean that Bürostadt Niederrad is highly attractive as a residential location.

Planning objectives
Basically, there are three options to establish new utilizations in the office district’s core zone, which measure no less than 88 hectares:

1. Converting parts of the vacant office spaces for new uses,

2. Demolishing vacant office buildings that for structural reasons cannot be converted and building new residential complexes,

3. Creating greater built densities.

The result will be a fabric of high-density blocks and loosely interspersed standalones with generous green areas. The broad range of properties is expected to attract a heterogeneous residential clientele who will find the district between the Main’s south bank and Frankfurt’s municipal forest perfectly suited to their needs.

In terms of urban fabric, the objective is to improve links both to the neighboring Goldstein and Alt-Niederrad districts as well as to the river and the municipal forest, while extending the network of pedestrian paths within the district itself. Another goal is to augment the utilities and the social facilities.

Prevailing opinion is that the restructuring of Bürostadt Niederrad into the “Lyoner Viertel” (as a modern business and residential district) will unleash substantial development potential. When it comes to upgrading and securing the future of “Lyoner Viertel” strategic private partners are required.

Present developments clearly underline the project’s success. The predicted potential for approx. 3,000 new dwellings was reached within the first six months of 2015 – the result of conversions, new builds and increasing the built density of existing properties. To date, clearly more than new 3,000 units have been built, are currently under construction, or are on the drawing board. Given the existence of additional available land we do not expect a decline in demand in the medium term.

Project Progress

A series of project feasibility studies culminated in 2007 in a framework urban development concept, which ultimately formed the basis for drawing up the new legal zoning plans for the office district. With the specification of mixed-use and core areas, the two legal zoning plans no. 885 “Hahnstrasse” (came into force on October 21, 2014) and no. 872 “Lyoner Strasse” (came into force on November 2016) pave the way for the urban redevelopment of the Niederrad office district, which as of the middle of the year was renamed “Lyoner Quartier”. This laid the legal basis for converting vacant office spaces into housing, creating greater densities in little-used spaces, and the creation of the planned green link between the River Main and the City Forest.

In addition to the existing, expansive road system, an attractive, direct pedestrian and cyclist link via internal paths to the green center of the quarter on Saonestrasse and to the City Forest that abuts to the south is a conceptual element of the legal zoning plan. Inasmuch as these paths are on private areas of greenery they will be secured for the general public through pedestrians’ and cyclists’ access rights. With a view to enhancing the appearance and attraction of the public streetscape, trees will be planted wherever the numerous underground pipeline routes permit. Furthermore, the location of an elementary school and nursery neighboring the City Forest and extensive sports facilities has been given solid legal planning foundations by designating land for local authority use. In addition, around both Niederrad station (Hahnstrasse 45) and the district park on Saonestrasse the legal zoning plans allow for the gradual creation of plazas in line with the realization of the permissible development.

Taking the on-going advisory processes into consideration, at the moment we can assume that the approx. 86-hectare quarter offers potential for the conversion or construction of some 5,000 residential units for around 7,000 residents, thus far exceeding the original assumptions. After legal zoning plan no. 872 came into force in 2016, the speed of development of the “Lyoner Quartier” once again increased significantly. To date a total of well over 3,000 apartments have been realized, are under construction, or are at the planning stage. As the development progresses there are signs of an increase in the number of projects featuring a mixture of different-size apartments and different forms of living; subsidized housing is also increasingly gaining ground.

Given this momentum, there seem to be good grounds for asserting that the former office district has established itself as a very promising location for residential real estate and offers sufficient potential demand for a range of housing-specific services and social facilities in the quarter. This is a good starting point to achieve the goal of transforming “Lyoner Quartier” into an attractive, vibrant district for more than 6,000 residents.

Parallel to the urban development process, in April 2014, “Standort-Initiative Neues Niederrad e.V.” (SINN) was launched. Financed by local players, this network was founded in order to play a part in filling the planned change with life.


Information on the project published by the City Planning Department