Arlandastad Holding AB is situated on historic ground, neighbouring Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna, adjacent to Sweden’s largest international airport and in one of Sweden’s fastest growing municipalities.
Our history really began in 2006 when Per Taube became interested in the area around Arlanda Airport and began acquiring land there. But we would like to extend the history concept and explain how a relatively small, young and privately owned property development company came to control 237 hectares of cohesive landholdings around Sweden’s largest airport and how it came to be one of three organisations involved in the development of Sweden’s first airport city, Airport City Stockholm.
To do this, we must look back. The area literally got off to a flying start when the Swedish Parliament determined in 1946 that a major airport should be built at Halmsjön.
Today, the area is at an expansive phase – the future looks bright and we believe the history of the past roughly 70 years paved the way for the property and concept development operations currently conducted by Arlandastad Holding.
Decision to build a major airport
In 1946, the Swedish Parliament decided that a major airport should be built at Halmsjön (now in the municipality of Sigtuna but at the time under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Märsta). In post-war Sweden, Sigtuna experienced high levels of productivity and its export businesses faced a bright future. With discussions of a new international airport being built in the municipality, local business and industry thrived.
Arlanda – off to a flying start
In 1952, the new airport at Halmsjön commenced construction but financing was strained and only a simple concrete runway was built, the Halmsjö runway.
The first official flight, from Bromma, Stockholm’s foremost airport at the time, took place in 1954, although the pilot was less than impressed by the new runway and it became known as the hump strip because of its corkscrew form. A few years later, the runway was rebuilt and in 1958, the airport was renamed Arlanda, since it is situated in the parish of Husby-Ärlinghundra, commonly known as Arland.
In 1962, King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden inaugurated Stockholm Arlanda Airport and all regular international flights transferred from Bromma to Arlanda.
The municipality of Sigtuna is founded
In 1971, the town of Sigtuna and the municipality of Märsta joined to become the municipality of Sigtuna. A new international terminal was built, Arlanda International, and in 1976, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden inaugurated the terminal and all international flights, both regular and charter, were transferred to Arlanda Airport.
Arlandastad – the working community of the future and the gateway to Northern Europe
In the 1980s, a concept began to emerge of building a business park adjacent to Arlanda Airport. Based on the favourable logistics conditions of the Arlanda area, the idea was to plan, initiate and sell land on which companies could set up operations. The intention was to create an eventful, well-designed and service oriented business park. The potential of Arlanda Airport as a hub was recognised, with its proximity to all possible markets. Given its unique location between the two university cities of Stockholm and Uppsala, alongside the E4 motorway and with the world just around the corner via Stockholm Arlanda Airport, the ambition was to build the working community of the future.In the late 1980s, the development company Arlandastad KB was established. Several building projects were initiated but the visionary concept of a business park connected to the world through Arlanda Airport was never fully realised.
Banking and property crisis
The banking and property crisis impacted the realisation of a modern and vibrant business park with an international flavour at Sweden’s largest international airport. Rough calculations showed that two thirds of the banks’ credit losses derived from the property sector. This entailed a negative effect on the Arlandastad project since the market largely died. Investors left the area and the banks sought to get rid of debt-burdened properties. Rather than continuing to develop the area, Arlandastad KB did all it could to help the companies that had already established themselves in the business park. Despite the fact that the municipality of Sigtuna, the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration and the companies surveyed all considered the idea of a business park connected to the world as attractive and justified, the crisis gave the venture a poor reputation. It was spoken of as the great property sector flop and the impossible project. Banks, property companies and others saw Arlandastad as a failed commercial centre rather than as an area of great potential and an unsurpassed location.
Arlandastad Holding takes the helm
In the early years of the new millennium, a new player took an interest in the area around Arlanda. In 2006, Per Taube, an entrepreneur in the property sector acquired a loss-burdened outlet in Arlandastad. Despite its poor reputation since the crisis years, Per Taube saw great potential in the area with its proximity to Arlanda Airport. Several major players previously involved in creating the business park withdrew and, through Arlandastad Holding AB, Per Taube was left to acquire land adjacent to the airport without competition. Arlandastad Holding was and remains pervaded by Per Taube’s entrepreneurial spirit and his confidence in the area. An innovative and progressive company emerged. During the first years following the acquisition of the outlet, the company strategically acquired land around the airport. With long-term plans for developing a commercial area around Sweden’s largest airport, the company acquired more than 250 hectares of cohesive landholdings around the airport between 2006 and 2010.
Conditions have changed
Today, Arlandastad Holding has every potential to succeed in creating an area neighbouring the world with a logistically superb location where accessibility means everything. More than 23,2 million passengers pass through Arlanda Airport annually. With its tactical land purchases, Arlandastad Holding now controls a cohesive landholding of 237 hectares around the airport. Together with Swedavia and the municipality of Sigtuna, Arlandastad Holding owns the company Airport City Stockholm. The three form a strong partnership with the shared objective of creating a modern airport city. An airport city, where the airport acts not only as a communications and transportation hub but also increasingly as a commercial centre.
Swedavia’s role has shifted and, in addition to just conducting airport operations, it now has a greater focus on property development and works with commercial project development to a greater extent.
The municipality of Sigtuna is expansive and it was not without reason that it was named as Sweden’s fastest growing municipality in 2012. With its responsibility towards its inhabitants, the municipality has involved itself in the development of a future airport city and pursues policies in which cooperation and consideration are central aspects.
In addition to all of this, Arlandastad Holding does not trust solely in the location to attract business, it is also actively creating sector-specific sub-areas and clusters where commercial interests, alongside public authorities and research facilities can work together towards future solutions and products, convincing us that we face a bright future as a company and as a region.