Our firm has been developing exclusive property in prime locations for five generations. Founded in 1864 by Peter Heinrich Schmitz in Grefrath on the Lower Rhine, it has been in the same family’s hands ever since, with bases in Kempen, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin. Today, the company remains as committed as ever to developing and building high-end property on exclusive plots and to a culture of perfect workmanship.
Dipl.-Volksw. Ralf Schmitz
Established RALF SCHMITZ Wohnungsbaugesellschaft in 1977 and subsequently turned the company into one of Germany’s leading developers of luxury residential property.
Converted the firm in 2013 into RALF SCHMITZ GmbH, a joint stock company with shares owned exclusively by the Schmitz family. Today, Ralf Schmitz runs the company’s Berlin office.
Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Kfm. (FH) Axel Martin Schmitz
Having studied business administration and having earned a docorate from Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Axel Martin Schmitz joined the board of RALF SCHMITZ in 2011 and is now head of project development, technology and customer service in Kempen and Düsseldorf. Axel Schmitz runs the company’s Hamburg office.
He also has overall responsibility for asset management, marketing across the firm and heads the acquisition. As spokesperson for the executive board, he also coordinates the work of the board and its dealings with the supervisory board.
Dipl.-Kfm. Dirk Schnurbus
Graduated in business administration he then went on to work for large corporations, lastly at DB Regio AG.
2018 Dirk Schnurbus joint the board of RALF SCHMITZ. He is now responsible for corporate finance, accounting and controlling, as well as for IT and personnel & organization.
Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Arndt G. Kirchhoff (Vorsitz)
Arndt G. Kirchhoff is the managing partner of the KIRCHHOFF Group, Iserlohn since 1990, as well as the CEO of the KIRCHHOFF Automotive Group GmbH & Co. KG – one of the leading German automotive suppliers employing over 10,500 people in 20 countries around the world. He serves in a number of honarary positions of responsibility in organizations of the German economy.
He is the vice president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), vice president of the Association of German Employers (BDA), is a member of the board of the Federation of German Industries, president of the Association of the Metal and Electronic Industries of North Rhine-Westphalia (METALL NRW) and also holds the position of the president of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.
Prof. Dr. Heinz-Klaus Kroppen, L.L.M.
After studying law at the universities of Kiel, Hamburg, Cologne and Washington D.C. Since 1989 Professor Kroppen was a member of the tax and legal department of Deloitte & Touche GmbH in Düsseldorf and from 1996 partner of this company. From 2011 to 2013, he headed tax and legal advice in Deloitte’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. From 2014 to 2019, Professor Kroppen was a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft in Düsseldorf. From 2017 to 2019, he headed PWC’s worldwide legal advice. He is co-editor of Kroppen / Rasch „Handbuch Internationale Verrechnungspreise“ and co-editor of Gosch / Kroppen / Grothen / Kraft “DBA Kommentar”. He was appointed honorary professor at the Ruhr University in Bochum in 2005.
Dipl.-Ökonom Stefan H. Mühling
After almost 20 years of project development work in the Strabag Group, Stefan H. Mühling founded “die developer Projektentwicklung GmbH” in April 2008 together with Kurt Zech as the main shareholder of Zech Group SE, Bremen. Within a very short time, the company has grown market recognition and has caused a sensation with distinctive and media-relevant flagship projects, such as the Kö-Bogen by Daniel Libeskind and the L’Oréal Headquarters in Düsseldorf or the urban development Urban Soul in Bonn. “Die developer Projektentwicklung GmbH” develops high-quality real estate for profit and quality-oriented real estate investors in western Germany, since 2020 also in Berlin. The main focus lies on the development of commercial real estate in the office and retail sector from initiation to completion – for both new buildings as well as refurbishments.
“Only valuePeter Heinrich Schmitz, Founder, 1864
The antithesis of trend is tradition. Without tradition’s deep roots there can be no growth – and no beauty, because beauty always draws from experience, and therefore history.
Architecture is a form of constructed history. However, it is usually regarded only from the creator’s vantage point and rarely illuminated from other perspectives. But it is often the developer
and client, the “director” of the building process, “who must have an overview equally of the score, orchestra and audience,” as renowned architect Paul Kahlfeldt describes it. “And the Schmitz family firm understands itself as the director; they approach each project as if for themselves – just in multiples.”
The firm’s history began in 1864 when Peter Heinrich Schmitz founded a construction company in Grefrath am Niederrhein, establishing a family tradition of craftsmanship. After
erecting churches, cloisters and factories in the region, the Schmitz company built their first villa in 1896 on commission
from a textile manufacturer, marking the start of business in the premium residential segment. The third-born son, Heinrich Schmitz, founded the office in Kempen some ten years later, which he continued to lead as Heinrich Schmitz KG after 1919.
IN THE THIRD GENERATION, THE CONSTRUCTION FIRM TURNED INTO A HOUSE-BUILDING DEVELOPER.
As the market became increasingly saturated in the 1970s, however, Ralf Schmitz – the firm’s fourth-generation son – concentrated on the development of particularly high-quality residential estates and founded his own company in Kempen in 1977 at the age of just 24. The firm established itself in no time with its refined freehold flats in Kempen, Krefeld and Düsseldorf.
The company made its first foray into Berlin in 2004; two refined city villas in the well-heeled district of Grunewald were markers of the things to come. Simultaneously a diverse group of new, striking sites were planned and realised in Düsseldorf.
Finding suitable real estate in good and excellent residential areas in these urban hubs has become increasingly complex. The Berlin branch of the Schmitz company has since become synonymous with the development of high-quality real estate, thanks in part to its intensive collaboration with numerous renowned architects, as has been the practice in Düsseldorf.
The Schmitz-Wohnungsbaugesellschaft was reconstituted as Ralf Schmitz GmbH & Co. KGaA. The firm remains entirely family-run and is owned 100 per cent by the family. In 2013, the Hamburg office’s first real estate project was completed in the upscale Othmarschen district. On the occasion of its 150th anniversary, the monograph Architektur und Handwerk was published by Jovis, providing a multifaceted documentation of the classical and elegant buildings built by the Schmitz family.
In late 2016, the international press cheered the completion of the prestigious Eisenzahn 1 near Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm – the first and exclusive collaboration between Italian luxury brand Bottega Veneta and a German development group.
Various new projects are currently under construction or in planning, thus proving that founder Peter Heinrich Schmitz’s guiding mandate has withstood the test of 150 years’ time: “Only value will endure.”