In a nutshell: The long history of municipal housing in Leipzig
Municipal housing construction in Leipzig has a history of more than 100 years. The chapters have been written by many different builders and landlords, who have created large and small housing estates for broad sections of the population. They have promoted urban development and shaped the image of Leipzig - from the Wilhelminian style quarter to the modern age and the prefabricated housing estate. The LWB's housing stock reflects the complete building history from the end of the 19th century onwards.
Difficult start to the market economy
Leipziger Wohnungs- und Baugesellschaft mbH (LWB) was founded on 10 December 1990 and entered in the Commercial Register at the beginning of January 1991. The company took over the stock of the state-owned company Gebäudewirtschaft Leipzig (GWL). Not an easy inheritance, because the need for renovation was enormous and the tasks enormous.
At the end of 1991, large-scale construction work began. At times there were 1,300 LWB construction sites in the city at the same time. However, under the high pressure to renovate - the need for maintenance and renovation was estimated at DM 2.7 billion in the early 1990s - the management had made mistakes: it invested a three-digit million sum in real estate that had to be returned to its former owners. The money was lost, but the loans had to be serviced. On top of this came the so-called old debts in the three-digit million range. These were legacies from the history of the former GDR - not real, but fictitious debts that had arisen from the financing of housing construction from the state budget and were exclusively imposed on municipal housing companies and cooperatives. Under the burden of the loans, the LWB, in whose quarters more and more apartments were vacant, threatened to go under. In this tense situation, the city stood surety for the LWB.
Some two decades passed before the company slowly regained its strength and saw light on the horizon.
At the beginning of the 1990s Leipzig became the construction capital of the republic. The LWB alone had up to 1,300 construction sites in the city area at the same time.
Leipzig becomes a "boomtown"
After the turn of the millennium, the demand for apartments increased and the rental market gradually stabilised. A new construction boom gained momentum and the LWB steered consistently - also with the help of property sales - towards debt relief.
Since 2011, business results have been positive and construction expenditure has been rising. The change from a debt-clearing strategy to an asset protection and investment strategy was initiated. At the end of 2013, after a long break, the LWB started a major new construction project again with the development of the winter garden area. The three buildings - in one of which the LWB has moved into its corporate headquarters, two are residential and commercial buildings - are considered to be the urban planning initial spark for the redevelopment of the eastern suburbs.
Meanwhile, it is not only the growth of the city that poses new challenges for the LWB - the company has a market share of a good ten percent. The owner, the City of Leipzig, also needs support from the LWB in the creation of social infrastructure such as day-care centers and accommodation for asylum seekers.
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the LWB published a detailed overview in a special edition of its customer magazine "wohnzeit".