Foreign investors’ interest in Italy has focused on Milan for the past few years, but now another Northern Italian city is popping up on their radar screens.
Zetland Capital, a London-based private equity firm, has announced the UK’s biggest ever investment in real estate in Turin.
The Gran Torino Alternative Fund, managed by Finint Investments, has acquired a 10,000 sq m building in Corso Stati Uniti, one of the city’s main streets, from Generali Real Estate.
Zetland plans to demolish the existing 1970s building, where the Piedmont regional government had its offices, and build a new state-of-the-art and sustainable residential complex to be called Palazzo Contemporaneo.
“We are proud to have acquired this building in the centre of Turin, which confirms our focus on the real estate market in Italy,” said Ahmed Hamdani, managing partner, Zetland. “The residential sector across Europe continues to be key for us and we are keen to invest with local partners in the four countries we are present in.”
It is the second acquisition in Turin in the space of a few months for the fund controlled by Zetland. In June 2021 it had acquired Palazzo Gran Torino, a 1930s building with over 20,000 sq m of offices, retail and residential units in via Roma, in the centre of the city, another trophy asset that was owned by Generali Real Estate.
The fund has invested a total of €100 million in acquiring the two buildings. Gran Torino is 90% owned by Zetland while Crea.Re, an Italian real estate investment company based in Turin, has a 10% stake. Banca Intesa, Italy’s largest bank, provided the financing.
Palazzo Contemporaneo will be the first new residential complex to be built in the centre of Turin for over 30 years. The plan has already been approved by the authorities in Turin, who are keen to encourage the construction of new apartments to fill the gap between supply and demand.
The latest construction techniques will be employed to ensure the building will have minimum impact on the environment and, once completed, it will be energy-efficient. It will also be built “for the post-pandemic era”, with large apartment sizes, big windows and balconies or terraces to guarantee access to outside space for all residents.
According to the latest Nomisma report on the Italian real estate sector, prospects for residential are positive as demand is at its highest since 2000.