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No buyers for the properties of the City of Genoa. Prices have dropped further

29 November, La Repubblica

Selling Genoa’s public properties, 19 in total, turned out quite difficult. Mario Baroni, Councillor for the preservation of the public assets, announced: “the first four auctions were inquorate. We’re currently studying a solution to make the properties more appealing, meaning a 20% discount on the starting price”. He mainly refers to the former fish market in Piazza Cavour, the Sestri stadium in Via da Persico, and the property in Via San Giacomo e Filippo.

The municipal properties have to be requalified, whether by alienating, selling or leasing them. The “family jewels” are for sale and are included in a report by Caire which gathers all the vacant villas, offices, service centres, former markets, former schools, and nursing homes. The “property book” is analytically detailed and provides all the cadastral and urban information, including satellite pictures. It shows to the potential investors (for instance, startups, real estate professionals etc.) the properties as they are today and their commercial value. Many assets are to be completely restored.

Baroni explains: “this is not a positive moment. The market is not responding. The prices are appropriate for their values. The problem is that the properties have been left abandoned for decades. Who will buy them will have to budget significant renovation costs”. In the list, there are the youth hostel, Villa Grimaldi, also known as “La Fortezza” a Sampierdarena, villa Gruber in Piazza Corvetto, the Onpi nursing home in Quezzi, the former school Quasimodo in Cep, the Galliera building near Via Garibaldi, the market in Piazza Monteverde in Cornigliano, Villa Serra (Luciano Melis gardens), the former school in Via Brea, several properties near Corso Italia, as well as warehouses.

As the Caire report reads: “in 70% of the cases, the properties require considerable investments”. Baroni clarifies: “we haven’t launched this operation to make some profits but to put an end to the state of neglect of these buildings.” The City of Genoa hopes that some of the buildings may be turned into boutique hotels (such as Galliera), coworking spaces (the offices in Via Santi Giacomo and Filippo designed by the architect Albini), or even museums and senior residences.

On the books, the 19 properties are worth about 30 million euro in total, where the 16.5 million is the value of the stadium and 1.76 million that of the fish market. Baroni continues: “we’ recurrently assessing which way to go. We’ll make some investments for their maintenance and safety. Only by requalifying them we’ll be able to find buyers”.

The auction for the old fish market was inquorate, while there might be an opportunity to lease the stadium. “To make an example, the price for the market is very appealing, if we think about its great historical value and its surface. But we need to invest at least 3 million in reparation works. The Sestri market has a surface of 1,300 Sq m and a value of 833 thousand euro. For the offices in Via San Giovanni e Filippo, the requested price is 560 thousand euro, and they’re 700 thousand Sq m!”. There aren’t other assets in the list, but the city administration will add new properties in the second phase of the sale process. “The due date for the auction for Villa Grimaldi is 18th December. For Baia degli Angeli, in Corso Italia, the price is 28 thousand euro. For the former school Quasimodo, the deadline is 12th December, and the starting price is 1 million and 100 thousand euro. It’s a huge surface: 4 thousand Sq m plus the exterior part. We know we have to sell, that we have to offer quality properties. If it rains inside Villa Gruber, we must fix the roof”.

Source: La Repubblica

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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