Financing deal ensures work starts on MilanoSesto project

A CGI of what Unione 0 at MilanoSesto will look like

A turnover of over €1 billion, seven state-of-the-art buildings and 2,100 new jobs being created: it’s the upshot of the private investment that is making MilanoSesto, one of Europe’s biggest regeneration projects, a reality.

Hines, the international real estate firm, has finalised an agreement with property investment company Cale Street for the €500 million financing of Unione 0. This will be the first 250,000 sq m lot to be developed on the 1.5 million sq m site of the former Falck Steelworks in Sesto, on the outskirts of Milan.

The newly established Unione 0 real estate fund, which will be managed by Prelios, is being financed by sovereign wealth fund KIA, the Kuwait Investment Authority.

With financing in place, site excavation is set to start this month and building will get under way before the end of the year. Unione 0 should be completed by 2025, is expected to create 2,100 jobs and to have a turnover of over €1 billion. The seven buildings will include 48,000 sq m of offices, a hotel, 25,000 sq m of affordable housing, student housing providing 700 beds and 45,000 sq m of residential units for rent.

The Unione 0 buildings are designed by four leading Italian architecture studios – Antonio Citterio & Patricia Viel; Barreca & La Varra; Park Associati and Scandurra Studio Architettura – while the MilanoSesto masterplan has been designed by Foster + Partners.

“We believe strongly in this highly strategic and challenging project to create a new sustainable and inclusive urban hub and to reactivate a territory that has lain dormant for decades for the benefit of all communities,” said Mario Abbadessa, senior managing director and country head, Hines Italy.

“We intend for MilanoSesto to serve as a shining example of our new concept of sustainable real estate development for the long term, a new ethical urban regeneration model.”

MilanoSesto will focus on the creation of social infrastructure, said Abbadessa, because, “no real estate project can claim to be long-lasting and successful if it is not socially sustainable for generations to come.”

Social sustainability will take various forms, with an intergenerational scheme of student housing, multifamily residential units for professionals and families, and senior housing.  A significant proportion of the affordable housing will be let at rents 50% below the market average.

The goal is to create a “dynamic, sustainable, inclusive and community-oriented urban destination” with over 50,000 residents, that will include a 45-hectare park described as a new “green lung” for Milan.

MilanoSesto will also be the site of the Health & Research district, a public clinical and scientific excellence hub that will include the Besta neurological institute and the National Cancer Institute as well as the new Università Vita campus and teaching hospital.

As well as being an investor for the development of Unione 0, Hines Italy acts as strategic advisor and development manager for the whole MilanoSesto scheme, while Prelios is asset and project manager for the entire regeneration project.