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Report: First rentals at Vrenelisgärtli Housing Cooperative

The Vrenelisgärtli Housing Cooperative is highly sought after for its affordable housing in a prime location in Unterstrass and its community-oriented, neighbourly support. However, joining the cooperative is challenging as the waitlist has been closed for some time. Thus, the recent rental of 35 apartments was an extraordinary opportunity. Here is our report on the application process for the Tokeh project.


83 flats in a great location

Picture of the Tokeh building with scaffolding
The Tokeh building site in spring 2024

The Tokeh project, located near Bucheggplatz in Unterstrass, will see the development of 83 apartments ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 rooms between 2022 and 2025. We had been monitoring this project for months and had visited the site to see the buildings under construction. In spring, the Vrenelisgärtli website indicated that internal leasing was underway. So, we waited patiently and visited the website almost daily to ensure we didn't miss any updates.


A somewhat vague announcement

On June 28, we noticed the website text had changed, announcing that leasing to external interested parties would begin in early July. The exact date and time were not specified, which was quite complicated. We sent a "heads-up" to all our subscribers that the leasing would likely start soon. From that point on, we constantly monitored the website. We were quite nervous as we absolutely did not want to miss the start of the leasing. This system, which keeps everyone in the dark, is not very user-friendly. Those who do not check such websites daily might miss a great opportunity for a wonderful apartment. Our subscription service provides incredible value here.


Apply by mail

On Friday, July 5, we checked the website in the morning and found out that the leasing had started at 8:00 AM—a popular time for initial rentals by cooperatives. Alongside the new Tokeh building apartments, there were also some units in other buildings (Fresco, Trapez) nearby. In total, 35 apartments were listed. Many of the 83 new apartments in Tokeh had been internally allocated. We will probably never find out whether this included only cooperative members or also their family members and friends. In any case, the website provided a registration form and information about each apartment for download. Unlike the recent rush at Buchwiesen, there was a set time frame. The documents would be online until Monday, July 8 at 8:00 AM. Applications could be submitted by mail, and electronic documents were not accepted. We immediately sent this information to our subscribers. Hopefully, everyone followed the call and at least downloaded the documents. Applications are still open until July 18.

Perseverance is required .... or a GenossenSchaffen subscription

Today, July 8th, the floor plans and the registration form were indeed removed from the website at 9:00 AM. Instead, it now states that application documents will be accepted until July 18th. The receipt of an application will not be confirmed. Those with a chance for an apartment will be invited for an interview in August. And so, the leasing of the long-awaited Tokeh was completed. The system used by many of these new building projects does not seem very user-friendly. One must constantly check the cooperative or project website to not miss the start of the leasing. If one is on vacation or otherwise occupied for a few days, it might be too late. This is where our subscription comes in: we take on the task for our subscribers and monitor these sought-after new building projects for them. This allows them to focus on other tasks, secure in the knowledge that they won’t miss the start of leasing for great affordable apartments.

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