CREATING VALUE FOR INVESTORS

di Lara Borghesi

21 May 2024

A single player that combines quality and market expectations

What does it mean to design and build a residential complex while preserving the design intent of the architect, integrating specialized disciplines, engaging with those who have promoted real estate development, and prioritizing the needs of those who will inhabit the individual units? It’s a challenge for Starching, which is guiding the realization of the Milano 3.0 Next Generation Living complex in Basiglio, located 7 kilometers from the center of Milan, designed by the architecture firm Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia.

The project is situated on land formerly owned by the Fininvest group, acquired in 2019 by Orion, an investment fund sponsored by Orion Capital Managers, a European private real estate investment firm managing the Orion European Real Estate and Orion Income Return Partners funds, with which it has invested over 5.5 billion euros of equity in European real estate markets from 2000 to date.

The process. An operation slated to reach completion by early 2025, with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place in the summer of 2022. By the end of 2023, the construction site had achieved coverage, and in early 2024, internal layout work continued. An adventure in which, true to its professional history, Starching has been the technical coordinator since the embryonic phase. And it will be so until the completion of the operation. Initially, with the Orion European Real Estate Fund V, Starching studied the investment proposal: Since it involved a residential intervention, it was necessary to understand the right typological mix for the target audience. It then proceeded on developing an integrated engineering project, coordinating all strategic actors for each step of the initiative.

The operation. Orion, the primary investor, opted to use an Investment Fund for the development of the operation, and therefore, Dea Capital Real Estate, through the HighGarden Fund, took over in June 2019. To better position the operation in the market from the outset, collaboration was sought with a company that could provide guidance on typological mixes and manage commercialization. Dils was chosen to fulfill the role of advisor for commercialization. The intervention involves the design and construction of six new buildings in the Milano 3 area, comprising approximately 260 units of various sizes. These buildings stand out on a basement housing all entrance hall functions, services, and ancillary rooms, in addition to technical rooms, garages, upper green areas, and pathways with spaces for rest and relaxation, creating a very pleasant internal courtyard for landscape enjoyment. The buildings accommodate a mix of compact three-room apartments, numerous multi-room apartments, and penthouses with terraces, with a smaller percentage of two-room apartments, suitable for a quadrant where the Humanitas clinical institute, the tertiary hub of Mediolanum 3 City, and the Mediolanum Corporate University, are located. Additionally, in compliance with a constraint contained in the implementation plan, there will be a portion of units for social housing. These are quality homes with highly competitive prices in terms of quality/price ratio and surface area compared to the Milanese market, set within a landscape of rural and floristic value and in a habitat meticulously maintained by the public administration, both in terms of cleanliness, order, and safety.

Environmental impact. All apartments are designed to target the A4 energy class, thanks to the use of eco-friendly materials, integrated systems with heat pumps, and water-saving technologies that enable the production of renewable energies, such as geothermal and solar. Not surprisingly, this will be the first residential intervention to be LEED certified in Italy.

The focus of this residential initiative will be on green spaces, promoting the well-being of those who choose this area to live in. The complex represents an extension of Milano 3, a residential neighborhood built between 1980 and 1991 to provide a refuge from the city’s chaos. Situated in the greenest area of the Milan metropolitan area, spanning over 38 hectares between two streams facing the lake and near the southern park and streams, it will offer views of the mountains and surrounding park, adhering to the principles of environmental sustainability and fostering a closer connection between humans and nature.

The services provided will be diverse: amidst lawns and wooded parks, there will be fitness trails, concierge services, playgrounds, communal spaces, leisure and coworking areas, electric vehicle charging stations, and services tailored to meet the current and future needs of families and the entire tenant community.

Integrated design meets market testing. Currently, sales of apartments in four out of the six planned buildings are underway, started in September 2022, with a significant percentage already sold. Particularly in demand are the top floors, which in some cases have been purchased in bulk by a single buyer and merged. The positive outcome is also attributed to the general contractor, Colombo Costruzioni, who, unlike other projects on hold during these months, decided to launch a new program at a time when demand appeared to be declining and raw material prices were already rising. This decision was supported by smart optimization techniques, allowing both anticipated timelines and costs to be met. This collaborative effort involves interdisciplinary expertise, such as that of Milano Contract District for interior design, Ariatta for plants. Among others, engineer Filippo Valaperta for structures, architect Michelangelo Pugliese for landscape design, agronomists Filippo Bernini and Marco Giorgetti (for managing existing greenery and future replanting), and engineer Lara Mita Medici for fire safety themes and practices, as well as Tecnicambiente for acoustic considerations and Dr. Ghezzi’s (hydrogeotechnical) study for geothermal and geotechnical aspects, not forgetting the support of Greenwich for LEED certification.

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