The listed company Deutsche Wohnen SE owns and manages 161,000 residential units in Germany. The majority of these rental units are located in Greater Berlin, Rhine-Main region, the Rhineland, Dresden and in Hanover/Brunswick as well as in other growing German metropolitan regions. Deutsche Wohnen owns approximately 114,000 residential units in Greater Berlin, of which a large number are listed buildings. Four of the six UNESCO World Heritage Housing Estates are majority owned by Deutsche Wohnen SE: the Hufeisensiedlung (“Horseshoe” Housing Estate) Britz, the Weiße Stadt (“White City”), the Großsiedlung Siemensstadt (“Large Housing Estate Siemens City”) and the Wohnstadt Carl Legien ("Carl Legien Housing Estate").
The roots of the company go back as far as the 1920s. GEHAG (a non-profit-making building society and housing construction company) was founded in 1924 and enjoys one of the longest traditions of Germany’s housing associations. With its pioneering apartment houses and residential estate projects GEHAG wrote an important chapter in the social and architectural history of the 20th century.
In 2007 GEHAG merged with the old Deutsche Wohnen AG, which was based in Frankfurt. The old Deutsche Wohnen AG was founded in Frankfurt in 1998 as a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bank and managed as a single organisation the bank’s residential properties. Most of its residential holdings were in the Rhine-Main area and Rhineland-Palatinate. In 2013 Deutsche Wohnen AG (since July 2017 SE) acquired GSW Immobilien AG. Just like GEHAG, the GSW was founded in 1924 as a public housing trust for the city of Berlin and also looks back on 90 years of experience in housing management. Deutsche Wohnen SE has experience spanning decades in the management and maintenance of larger portfolios of rental units. The safeguarding and maintenance of the real estate portfolio has been a crucial element of the company’s success.
All of the central divisions of the company have their registered office at its traditional location in Berlin-Schmargendorf, in a building from the 1930s which was restored in 2011 in accordance with the specifications for the preservation of historical monuments.
Due to this decade-long connection to classical modernism and in full awareness of its responsibility towards this unique heritage, Deutsche Wohnen is exceptionally committed to ensuring the preservation of the Berlin housing estates. Since 2009, extensive restoration work has been carried out at the Hufeisensiedlung, the Weiße Stadt and the Siemensstadt, and this work will continue until 2014, with a total of approximately EUR 33 million being invested in this project. A portion of these funds was obtained from the program in support of national World Heritage sites of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. Since the making of their joint application for UNESCO World Heritage status, Deutsche Wohnen has enjoyed a close cooperative relationship of mutual trust with the federal state government and with preservationists at both the state and municipal levels in the context of community development and the preservation of historical monuments.
The outstanding commitment of Deutsche Wohnen SE has also been acknowledged and recognized at national level: In November 2011, Michael Zahn, the Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Wohnen SE, received by way of acknowledgement of his dedication the highest award of the Berliner Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, the “Ferdinand von Quast Medal”.