Hines will play an even bigger role in the regeneration of Milan. The international real estate firm, which is already developing Trotto and MilanoSesto in Italy’s economic and financial capital, has been awarded the tender for the Nodo Bovisa area, a 90,000 sq m urban regeneration project.
MoLeCoLa is the name chosen for the project, which means “molecule” in Italian but also uses the first two letters of the words Mobility, Learning, Community and Lab to reflect its guiding principles and objectives.
The Municipality of Milan awarded the tender for the acquisition of a district around the Bovisa railway station and the Milan Polytechnic which is set to be a sustainable neighbourhood and a new technological hub of excellence. Hines is expected to invest around €200 million in the project, which is scheduled for completion by 2026.
Integrated neighbourhood will be created
The project will link up an area which has long been divided by railway tracks, to create a new integrated neighbourhood. The public tender comprises the sale of two lots, one owned by the Municipality of Milan and the other owned by railway company Ferrovie Nord.
The development will be divided into three different areas. The first will be dedicated to purpose-built accommodation for students and young professionals, with 1,100 beds (see CampusX opens new Milan hub as Italy’s PBSA market booms).
The second area will be housing for rent and the third will be offices and could include the future headquarters of Ferrovie Nord. The entire district will be mainly pedestrianised, with cycle routes and many squares, play areas and public spaces to encourage community interaction.
The project, which Hines has won as part of the international “Reiventing Cities” competition organised by the Municipality of Milan, consolidates the group’s focus on urban regeneration and in particular on the rented living sector for students, professionals and families alike.
“We are very proud to have the opportunity to ‘reinvent’ the Bovisa area,” said Mario Abbadessa, senior managing director and country head, Italy, Hines. “This project has great historical value and will strengthen and enhance the area with technology, innovation and sustainability at its core. It will develop into an important green lung for Milan with residential space and a university as critical components of this exciting urban regeneration.”
Italy’s first LEED for Neighbourhood project
Hines is the project’s investor and developer, while the masterplan is produced by architects Park Associati Studio. It will focus on sustainability and energy efficiency and will be the first LEED for Neighbourhood-built project in Italy. The main construction material used will be wood and the circular economy created should result in the district recording zero emissions 30 years after development.
Connectivity is key and the Bovisa railway station will be at the centre of the new district. There are plans to upgrade the station, which connects the city to Milan Malpensa international airport and the suburbs outside of Milan, and to extend two existing tram lines. The new interchange will combine public transport, electric mobility and micro-mobility, managed in a smart way through a neighbourhood mobility sharing app. Thanks also to a dense network of cycle and pedestrian paths, the neighbourhood will be able to count on a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions linked to the movement of residents and employees who will gravitate to the area.