Leopold Weinberg: We Are Content’s co-founder on how to be a commercial property developer. And hospitality operator.

Leopold Weinberg

Leopold Weinberg

Can opening your own hotels, bars and restaurants boost the value of your commercial property portfolio?

To find out, take a look at design-led property developer, We Are Content.

We Are Content owns commercial buildings in the heart of Zurich and Basel.

These include apartments, mixed-use buildings and hotels.

Some of these are home to We Are Content’s own hospitality businesses.

For example, the company operates two celebrated boutique hotels:

Zurich’s Helvetia and Basel’s Volkshaus (the latter designed by Herzog & de Meuron).

Meanwhile, We Are Content also operates a collection of destination restaurants, cafes and bars.

In today’s interview, Leopold Weinberg shares with you how these hospitality businesses work.

And how they hike returns on his real estate portfolio.

Listen now and you’ll learn:

• What makes for a successful commercial property development.
• Why they like owning properties near red light districts.
• Why they prefer developing older buildings.
• Why they like to retain long-term ownership of their buildings (rather than flip them).
• How they got involved with running hotels, restaurants and bars.
• How they use storytelling to develop and operate their businesses.
• And MUCH more…

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts – or the player right below:

Liked this interview with Leopold Weinberg? Subscribe to Floorplate’s FREE email newsletter to get more interviews with successful commercial real estate developers.

Time stamps for topics in this episode:

  • 00:00| Intro.
  • 01.26| How Leopold became interested in the built environment.
  • 02.00| Why he studied architecture at university.
  • 03.40| How he entered the world of commercial property development.
  • 06.25| Why big property developers often deliver soulless buildings.
  • 07.41| What makes for a successful development.
  • 08.30| How he met his business partner.
  • 11.25| Why the business is called We Are Content.
  • 12.30| How they became hospitality operators.
  • 15.08| Why they like owning property near red light districts.
  • 16.10| Why they like to develop existing (older) buildings – especially ones that are heritage listed.
  • 18.09| Why they like to retain long-term ownership of their properties.
  • 19.10| Why they like investing in apartment buildings.
  • 19.47| The worst thing about owning apartment buildings.
  • 21.53| How they’re planning to offer extra services to their residential tenants.
  • 24.43| How he got involved with the Volkshaus in Basel.
  • 30.27| Why they operate their own hospitality businesses.
  • 31.49| How they learnt to run hospitality businesses.
  • 34.24| How a hospitality business can successfully serve locals and visitors alike.
  • 35.50| About the new Volkshaus hotel.
  • 39.18| How much design freedom they give to their architects.
  • 40.25| How they developed the Hotel Helvetia in Zurich.
  • 43.30| Why they hold properties for the long term.
  • 44.07| How they use storytelling to plan and run their properties.
  • 46.55| Who does their marketing and PR.
  • 47.51| What’s next for We Are Content (including their plan to potentially open up to external investment).

Hotel Helvetia

Photography by Conradin Frei:

Hotel Helvetia

Hotel Helvetia Hotel Helvetia Hotel Helvetia Hotel Helvetia Hotel Helvetia Hotel Helvetia Hotel Helvetia

Hotel Helvetia

Volkshaus Basel

Photography by Robert Rieger:

Volkshaus Basel

Volkshaus Basel

Volkshaus Basel Volkshaus Basel

Volkshaus Basel Volkshaus Basel Volkshaus Basel

Related links

We Are Content

Hotel Helvetia

Volkshaus

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