With the current global pandemic limiting real estate activities in many corners of the globe, it’s safe to say that the housing market is a little more unpredictable than usual. Even still, few could have predicted that 2020 would provide the rare chance to purchase an entire 62-acre Swedish village. Over the weekend, Residence Christie’s International Real Estate began taking auction bids on the Swedish hamlet of Sätra Brunn, a sprawling village built around an underground spring alleged to have curative properties. All 70 of its buildings, including historical residential spaces and more modern amenities, were available for a minimum bid of 70 million Swedish krona—just under $7.3 million USD.
Lest you think Sätra Brunn is some New Age planned community that went belly-up, its history as a wellness space dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. In search of medicinal spring water, doctor Samuel Skragge purchased the land in 1700, at which point construction on some of its first buildings began. According to the New York Times, Uppsala University operated Sätra Brunn as a holistic research treatment center from 1747 until 1999. A number of buildings were erected using locally sourced timber over the years, including the Nybygget (“new building”), which was Sweden’s largest hotel upon its completion in 1792.
Though it wasn’t the only Swedish health village built in the 18th century, journalist Mats Wikman, one of the 15 Swedes who purchased the space in 2002 to safeguard its legacy, tells the Times that Sätra Brunn is by far the most faithfully preserved example. But as the core ownership group has aged, the time has come to pass the torch to a new owner of what Wikman says “should be regarded as a world heritage site.”
While Wikman estimates that about 45 or so of the timber structures could function as residential homes with some proper kitchen conversions and a little additional winter insulation, any buyer of the space would also take complete control of Sätra Brunn’s commercial space. That includes a bottling plant capable of producing 2 million bottles of mineral water annually, a revenue-generating village preschool, and the village’s ability to function as an events space thanks to a conference center, gym/spa, and other modern additions. The listing notes that the property collective generates between 30 and 34 million Swedish krona annually in business income annually, based on 2019 numbers. Not a bad investment if you’re committed to the space’s preservation and upkeep.
Fittingly, the listing attracted significant international interest from corporate bidders across Europe, Asia, and North America who are interested in preserving the space’s current commercial usage. Jonas Martinsson, partner at Residence Christie’s International Real Estate in Stockholm, told AD that the listing attracted more than 50 prospective clients, driving the bidding up to $7.5 million so far.
While the period for submitting bids was slated to end on May 31, Martinsson notes that Christie’s is in the process of finalizing its timeline, with the ongoing pandemic possibly pushing back any official closing until August. Even if 2020 is an uncertain time for tourism, it’s clear from the bidding interest that Sätra Brunn was just too good to pass up. “This is something different because there are so many old houses. The history of the architecture and the history of wellness together with the space’s new developments…it’s just one of a kind,” says Martinsson. “You just don’t find many places like this.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest