"From the very first discussions we had on this ambitious project, we understood its great potential and strong social appeal. With reference to this operation, we are proud that Prelios has proven to be an active reference point and a leading strategic player in major real estate and financial transaction and an effective link between the various stakeholders in the sector. It should also be noted that all this has been made possible thanks to the support of Intesa Sanpaolo and its top management, who believed in the relaunch of this great project.”
Hines, the international real estate firm, along with Cale Street, a real estate investment firm backed by the Kuwait Investment Office, the London office of the Kuwait Investment Authority and the world’s first sovereign wealth fund established in 1953, announces the finalisation of the investment into the Unione 0 lot as part of the “MilanoSesto” urban regeneration project, following the transfer of the lot by Milanosesto S.p.A. to the newly established “Unione 0” real estate fund, managed by Prelios SGR.
With an investment of €500 million, the Unione 0 real estate fund begins development of the first private lot covering approximately 250,000 square metres. . It forms part of the broader partnership project between Hines and Prelios that has enabled the relaunch of the biggest urban regeneration project in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, on a site spanning 1.5 million square metres in Sesto San Giovanni, formerly home to the historical Falck Steelworks. As well as Hines being an investor for the development of Unione 0, Hines Italy acts as strategic advisor and development manager for the whole MilanoSesto project, while Prelios, in addition to managing the Unione 0 fund, acts as asset and project manager for the entire real estate initiative.
As part of the masterplan by international architecture firm Foster + Partners, the seven Unione 0 buildings are designed by four excellent names on the Italian architecture scene: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) will design the office spaces and a hotel; Barreca & La Varra the affordable housing units; Park Associati the student housing; Scandurra Studio Architettura the free market residential units.
Excavation works will begin in January, with construction works set to get under way by the end of the year. Estimated turnover for the project upon completion - scheduled for 2025 - is over €1 billion, with the creation of over 2,100 jobs1.
“We believe firmly in this highly strategic and challenging project and, from the very first day, our team has been working with great passion and determination towards the goal of creating a new sustainable and inclusive urban hub, to reactive a territory that has lain dormant for decades for the benefit of all communities. The presence of Intesa Sanpaolo, right from the early stages of the project, has been essential in ensuring that this important opportunity for the whole country, could be put into practice.” commented Mario Abbadessa, Senior Managing Director & Country Head at Hines Italy. “As well as reaffirming our long-term industrial approach and consolidating our living strategy, we intend for MilanoSesto to serve as a shining example of our new concept of sustainable real estate development for the long term, with the goal of providing a positive impact at a local and national level. Our aim is to make a tangible contribution to the growth and economic development of Sesto San Giovanni and the Milan metropolitan area, by way of a new ethical urban regeneration model. Above all else, MilanoSesto will focus on the creation of social infrastructure: no real estate project can claim to be long-lasting and successful if it is not socially sustainable for generations to come.”
“The financial commitment by Hines and Cale Street into Unione 0 is testament to the excellent teamwork and commitment shown by Prelios and Hines over the last two years, and has enabled the relaunch of such an important and qualifying project" said Luigi Aiello, General Manager Corporate & Business Development of the Prelios Group. "From the very first discussions we had on this ambitious project, we understood its great potential and strong social appeal. With reference to this operation, we are proud that Prelios has proven to be an active reference point and a leading strategic player in major real estate and financial transaction and an effective link between the various stakeholders in the sector. It should also be noted that all this has been made possible thanks to the support of Intesa Sanpaolo and its top management, who believed in the relaunch of this great project.”
One of the guiding principles of the entire project, and of the development of the first private lot, will be its ESG vision: first, social sustainability, which will take various forms, starting from its living offering. The Unione 0 residential units will be characterised by services of value designed with different target age groups in mind including students and professionals, families, and senior citizens, with their aspirations and needs in mind, for example by providing spaces dedicated to study, smart working, childcare and fitness. The affordable rents, meanwhile, will also offer significant social benefits: 30% more residents in the surrounding areas will be able to access housing at sustainable prices, at an average cost of 50% lower than other comparable options in the Municipality of Milan2. Significant attention will also be paid to development of the public spaces, and how these interact with the private spaces, resulting in an attractive, dynamic, sustainable, inclusive, and community-oriented urban destination.
Reinforcing the human-centric approach of the area, with a range of dedicated services, Unione 0 will be the neighbour of the City of Health and Research, the Lombardy Region’s public hub of clinical and scientific excellence, and home to the new headquarters of the Besta Neurological Institute and the Cancer Institute, in parallel to the new San Raffaele’s university and research laboratory centre.
There will also be a fundamental emphasis on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency, thanks to LEED® and WELL certifications and the use of innovative materials, in keeping with the principles of the circular economy. The energy requirements of the area encompassing Unione 0 and the City of Health and Research will be 30% lower than if traditional systems had been used, avoiding the emission of 5,500 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere3.
Supporting Hines in the investment were Chiomenti Studio Legale and Allen & Overy for organisational, regulatory and acquisition matters, and Studio Belvedere Inzaghi & Partners for administrative matters. EY handled tax-related matters and Dentons oversaw the environmental side. Cale Street was supported by both Gibson Dunn and Crutcher LLP & Legance Avvocati Associati for legal matters, and Westcourt Real Estate Developments Ltd as a technical advisor. Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici supported Intesa Sanpaolo and the other banks financing Milanosesto S.p.A.
1Research data commissioned from The European House Ambrosetti, “The impacts of the urban renewal of the former Falck areas and value creation for Italy and its economy”
2Research data commissioned from The European House Ambrosetti, “The impacts of the urban renewal of the former Falck areas and value creation for Italy and its economy”
3Research data commissioned from The European House Ambrosetti, “The impacts of the urban renewal of the former Falck areas and value creation for Italy and its economy”