Office market Basel

Review and Outlook

The supply of available office space in the Basel region decreased by 4,600 m² in 2023 and currently stands at 135,800 m². The availability rate has fallen from 5.9% at the end of 2022 to 5.5% at present, but has been hovering above the 5% mark since 2020. The sustained elevated supply of office space is increasingly putting downward pressure also on rent prices.

This chapter is part of the Office Market Study 2024 by JLL Switzerland

Fewer vacant offices in the CBD and in Breite/St. Alban

Although the supply of available office space in the Basel region changed only slightly on aggregate compared to the previous year, individual submarkets registered distinctly differing trends. The supply of vacant office space contracted sharply in the city centre (−7,100 m²) and in the Breite/St. Alban submarket (−15,600 m²). On the other hand, the supply of office space on offer increased substantially in Gundeldingen (+9,800 m²) and Kleinbasel West (+8,900 m²). 

Adobe, Sandoz, Migros Club School, and BDO relocate

Software developer Adobe doubled its office space with its move into the repositioned Peter Merian Haus at the start of 2023. Generic drugmaker Sandoz is also moving to the city centre, relocating its headquarters from the Novartis campus to the Elsässertor office building, where it will utilise over 3,000 m² of floor space. Migros Club School has secured roughly the same amount of space in the Clime newbuild project. The Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and its approximately 330 employees will move into part of the freed-up space on the Novartis campus in the first half of 2024.

The Basel University Hospital’s digitalisation & ICT department has taken up new occupancy of 2,700 m² of office space in the city centre at Steinengraben 28 to 36. In addition, accounting and auditing firm BDO signed a lease for 1,300 m² of office space in the White Plaza. Demand for office space in Basel remains intact and very diverse.

Thinned pipeline in the near term

Approximately 168,000 m² of new office space was built in Basel over the last three years, 92% of which was leased as of end-2023. The downside of this high tenancy rate, however, is the variety of older buildings that are searching for a new destiny after having been vacated by former tenants. Some examples are the old headquarters of the former Swiss Bank Corporation (which merged with UBS years ago) at Aeschenplatz 6, as well as the Peter Merian Haus, the Elsässertor building, HOCH16, VIA, and the Picassoplatz Business Centre, which were all utilised by Roche in the past. The transformation of the former Dreispitz, Klybeck, Rosental Mitte, Volta Nord, and Wolf industrial sites will refill the currently thinned pipeline. Furthermore, the Swiss Post and the Swiss Federal Railways company are planning a new construction project (Nauentor) with potential for more than 50,000 m² of office space in place of the current Swiss Post operations building next to the Basel train station.

Office market study Switzerland 2024

You can find the entire office market study Switzerland 2024 here. The report provides comprehensive insight on the office space markets in Zurich, Geneva, Bern, Lausanne, Basel and Zug. In addition to providing key data and reporting on the most significant changes in Switzerland’s largest market areas, the office market study also highlights some regional idiosyncrasies and presents a brief digression on Europe.