(Visited 62 times, 1 visits today)
(Visited 62 times, 1 visits today)

Big brands and no cars: Piazza Cordusio like Times Square

11 November, Il Giornale

Cordusio in Milan like Times Square, the iconic pedestrian walk surrounded by big brands in New York. That might be the direction to follow, although gradually and on a smaller scale. The change started with the opening of a Starbucks store on 6th September in the former Post office building. Two months from the inauguration, there are still people queuing outside the shop. The builders have recently started dismantling the construction site around the former Sorgente building (14 thousand Sq m of surface) owned by Hines. This restyling will add value to the square.

The last piece to complete the remodelling is Palazzo Broggi which used to accommodate the Unicredit offices, now sold to the Chinese fund Fosun and currently under renovation. Unicredit will move at number 2 in Cordusio. The Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo will open its first store in Italy on 6th April. The store will be located opposite Starbucks, and it will develop over three floors and a 2,500 Sq m surface. On the other side of the building, on Via Dante, Yamamay will open its 1,000 Sq m flagship store which was postponed from December to February. It will also feature a “YamaCaffè”. The lingerie brand, in fact, intends also expanding to catering and home décor even. Finally, there is the majestic Assicurazioni Generali building, as the insurance company moved to CityLife and almost emptied the lower floors. After petitions and lengthy negotiations, also the iconic Ditta Guenzanti, the oldest shop in Milan, accepted to move to Via Agnello. The information about the new occupant is strictly confidential, but the property might have attracted a hotel chain.

The restyling process of the square has finally picked up. The site has no distinctive identity at present. Passing through the square by car or by tram, it breaks the discontinuity of the pedestrian walk that goes from Piazza San Babila to Castello. Last June, Fosun, Hines and Generali presented to the City of Milan the plan to restyle Cordusio Square which is signed by Leonardo Freyrie. The lawyer Antonio Belvedere, associate of the low firm Bip-Belvedere Inzaghi & Partners, is following the negotiations between the private companies, the city administration and the public transport company. He says that the collaboration in unanimous: “The property owners had united and offered to use the planning fees to requalify the square. And they’re willing to add also a gift subsidy”.

The intervention will happen in two steps. In the first phase, the construction activity will not interfere with the works for the M4 metro line; it will rather focus on renovating the paving of the square and on implementing traffic lights for pedestrians. In the second phase, when it will be possible to block such a critical traffic junction, the road and sidewalk will be levelled out, restricting the access to trams and taxis only. The area between Via Broletto and Via Meravigli, at the beginning with Via Dante, will also be closed to cars. The restyling will extend to Via Orefici and Tommaso Grossi, while the tracks might be moved to the centre of the road in order to broaden the sidewalk. The plan presented in June has been partially modified, and it’s currently being evaluated by the Superintendence. City Councillor for urban planning Pierfrancesco Maran explains: “We added more green spaces to the original layout”. It was the plan’s weakness since the metro line is only two metres underground: it wasn’t possible to plant roots. Maran anticipates: “We’re almost done. We want to start the construction works by mid-2019. The budget is between 2 and 4 billion. A part of the expenses for the restyling of the buildings will be privately funded as a gift subsidy”.

Source: Il Giornale

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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