Hines and Blue Noble JV inks third Italian residential deal

A JV between international real estate firm Hines and property investment management company Blue Noble has inked its third Italian residential deal via the Future Living property fund managed by Savills Investment Management.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The fund has acquired the site of the former Municipal Theatre in central Florence from investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). The plot will be developed into a serviced apartment complex.

The acquisition marks Hines’ and Blue Noble’s third investment in the living sector in Italy, following the acquisition of two student accommodation developments in Milan in 2018, via Giovenale and via Ripamonti, comprising 1,300 student beds.

Mario Abbadessa, Italy country head for Hines, said: 'Florence is an important market for us as we target the residential rental sector, which we believe has major potential for growth, and the project offers a housing model we would like to bring to other cities in Italy.
'Cities like Florence have a lack of quality housing for rent and our aim is to respond to this need with a development built to the highest standards of energy sustainability and attention to the environment.'

Located on Corso Italia, the scheme will provide a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments, with services including common areas, retail, gym and parking. The units will be destined partly for sale and partly for rent, with work commencing mid-2020 and due to complete in 2022.

Paul Forshaw, CEO of Blue Noble, added:'Florence is a city with immense historical and cultural significance, but which faces the challenges of providing modern and sustainable accommodation for rent. We aim to create an oasis of tranquility in the heart of this bustling tourist center and believe that the prospects for this compelling investment opportunity are extremely strong.'

Hines and Blue Noble said they would continue to assess further opportunities for the joint venture in major Italian cities, including in Rome, Florence and Venice as well as Milan.

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