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25 June 2009

New city housing livens up Copenhagen's North West Quarter

In the midst of the housing market and financial crisis, almost all 50 flats in the newly built Lygtens Have estate on the border between Copenhagen's North West and outer Nørrebro districts have been tenanted. This success stems from combining an attractive rent with an understanding of what modern urban residents want and need today.

A half hundred new urban apartments in the Lygtens Have estate in Copenhagen’s North West Quarter are proof that success on the housing market is still possible if the price and product are right. Even before work on the last flat is finished, the project is close to being fully tenanted.

The Lygtens Have apartment interiors are designed to emphasise the inflow of light and spaciousness. One unusual detail is that the flats on the second floor and up have balconies on both sides, so residents are guaranteed lots of light all through most of the daylight hours. The large floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city underline the fact that the flats are tailored to suit residents who love the city and its urban spaces.

The estate is situated at 31-39 Bisiddervej, on the corner of the busy and lively traffic artery called Lygten, very close to the Lersøparken park, Bispebjerg Station and, not least, the Nørrebro Bycenter shopping centre. The easy availability of shopping opportunities is also underlined by the presence of a Lidl supermarket in the ground floor of the building.

Lygtens Have tenants live just a few minutes by bicycle from the experiences that the Copenhagen city centre has to offer, and just a few minutes' walk away from cafés, public transport and relaxation in green park surroundings. All the facets of urban life unfold themselves in this lively neighbourhood, which is geographically part of Copenhagen's North West Quarter but could actually be considered outer Nørrebro, as it is a multicultural neighbourhood with lots of young people, students, bohemians and families with children.

Almost fully tenanted

The architectural firm behind this highly attractive modern urban housing is Hvidt & Mølgaard. Construction of the estate was well underway when its original developer encountered problems, and the project was purchased in September 2008 by M. Goldschmidt Ejendomme A/S, which itself funded and completed construction on the project.

Builders have been working hard to finish the 50 new Lygtens Have flats, even as they were opened for rental in November 2008. At the time of writing, only a good handful of the apartments are left: the rest have already been rented to a good mix of new residents. The first tenants moved into their flats in February; the last apartments will be ready for occupation very soon.

‘In spite of a very difficult housing market, we’ve managed to rent out just about all the new flats within a short period of time. This is probably due to the fact that we’ve set the right rent: we're asking for roughly DKK 1200 per square metre per year. The rent varies, depending on each flat’s location and size,’ explained Mads Jarlshøi of M. Goldschmidt Ejendomme A/S.

The Lygtens Have apartments vary a great deal in size. The smallest are two-room flats totalling roughly 80 square metres each; the largest each have five rooms and about 134 square metres of floor space. In addition, ten of the apartments have a roof terrace. A few of the terraces are up to 100 square metres in size, large enough for residents to enjoy a warm summer evening in the heart of the city, surrounded by vibrant urban life and activities.

Quality interiors

All the flats have an entrance hall with a built-in wardrobe and access to a bathroom and a large kitchen/family room. Each of the flats on the second to fifth floors has at least two large, private balconies with glass parapets and wooden planking. Each flat has a balcony facing east and one facing west so residents can enjoy both the morning and evening sun. The first-floor apartments all have east-facing private terrace gardens accessed from the kitchen/family room and a small terrace garden to the west affording the opportunity to enjoy the evening sunshine.

The flats also have lovely large wardrobes and easy access to the technical installations. A modern patch panel enables the wall sockets to be used for telephones, Internet access or TV, eliminating the need for criss-crossing cables. The estate also features all the modern facilities required today: an entry phone, a locked underground car park, lifts, storage rooms in the basement and district heating.

The interior design is quality down to the smallest detail. The bathrooms have floor heating, a bricked shower cubicle, a wall-mounted toilet with concealed cistern, and fittings for washer/dryer. The kitchens have upper and lower cupboards, a built-in cooker hood with an almost noiseless central extractor system, a glass-ceramic cooker hob, a built-in oven, a built-in dishwasher and a fridge freezer, all supplied by Siemens.

Satisfied tenants

Lygtens Have is already fast gaining its own identity as its new tenants move in. Young couples live here, as do families with children, single men and women, single mothers and fathers, students, newcomers to the city, and just generally people who need a smoothly functioning home base in the form of a good place to live.

Among the first people to move to the estate were a Danish-German couple named Lilian and Helge Anschütz, who used to rent a small flat in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen. Their new home is a three-room flat with 90 square metres of floor space.

‘For us, it was important to move to something new. We were tired of draughty windows and problems, and we wanted to keep our freedom by renting. Several of our friends live in this neighbourhood, and I can go to the gym right around the corner. This is a place that suits our lifestyle perfectly. I’m sure we’ll stay here for at least three or four years, until we can afford to buy a house at some point,’ said Lilian.

The name ‘Lygtens Have’ (‘Lygten’s Garden’) comes not only from the location of the estate, but also from its large back garden area. Work on this area will begin this summer, and when the garden is finished, residents will have access over a closed stair bridge to the common areas and the outdoor life and fresh air they offer, away from the street. Tenants will also be able to hire a parking space in the basement, and there are lifts to all storeys.

In one of the lifts, we met another tenant, Ulrik Erdland, arms full of vegetables in a plastic shopping bag. His impressions of the neighbourhood have been good:

‘The large windows make the flats open, light and airy. To start with, I was a bit sceptical about the general area because you hear so many bad things about Nørrebro, but I haven’t seen any of that at all. It's been quite a pleasant surprise. It’s actually a quiet neighbourhood with a lot of young people and a really great urban life. I’m a city person, so it’s exactly what I like,’ said Erdland.

Lygtens Have has a total of 50 new flats whose layout emphasises light inflow and openness to the outside world: modern urban housing for families of all ages. (Model photo: Peter Nørby)

Among the first to move to the estate were a Danish-German couple named Lilian and Helge Anschütz, who used to rent a small flat in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen. Their new home is a three-room flat with 90 square metres of floor space. (Photo: Peter Nørby)

Ulrik Erdland likes his Lygtens Have flat: it is the perfect framework for his life as an urban man – also when he has to do his grocery shopping on his way home from work. (Photo: Peter Nørby)

Each flat on the second to fifth floors of the estate has at least two private balconies. (Photo: Peter Nørby)

The Lygtens Have apartments were designed by the architectural firm of Hvidt & Mølgaard. The smallest flats each have two rooms totalling roughly 80 square metres; the largest have five rooms and a total of about 134 square metres of floor space. (Model photo: Peter Nørby)

25 June 2009

M. Goldschmidt Holding A/S

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