24 November, Corriere della Sera
The two hotels in Galleria in Milan, Seven Stars and Townhouse, have been sold to an international buyer. The former owner, Alessandro Rosso, has recently paid all his debts towards the City of Milan and has managed to sell the hotels for 18 million to the company of the Swedish billionaire and Monte Carlo resident Alexander Vik.
The spaces facing on the octagon owned by the City of Milan have also been sold. Rosso adjudicated those spaces through eleven different public tenders between 2013 and 2016. Moreover, the properties also got the attention of Arab and Chinese funds.
This time might be the right time for the city administration. Unlike Alessandro Rosso, who was insolvent, the new tenant will have to pay on time. After all, the Scandinavian tycoon can rely on his wealth, despite a litigation with Deutsche Bank for over 250 million. The billionaire built his empire through investments in online and real estate companies, launching his own vodka brand and owning a large vineyard in South America.
With the property sale, the conditions related to the spaces won’t change. Changes will be possible only upon the change of the company name. Rosso has just repaid the City of Milan for “arrears” amounting to 2.7 million which accumulated in 2016. During that period, the space which would have become the Seven Star, the first hotel in the world getting the seven-star certification, was undergoing massive renovation works.
When Rosso turned out being insolvent in 2017, he justified himself by saying that it was strategic, as he wanted to obtain instalments for payments to the City of Milan, as they weren’t included in the conditions. It resulted in a debt repayment plan set by the city administration for the value of 10 thousand euro per day.
From 2005 to 2017, Alessandro Rosso, son of Franco, which started as a tour operator and then diversified his business with hotels, restaurants and events, managed to gather, through various public tenders, spaces for 15 thousand Sq m on the upper floors in Galleria. He then proceeded with gradually remodelling those spaces, investing 30 million in total taken from his own funds or loaned from banks. He gave new life to those abandoned spaces, collaborating with the innovative architect Giuseppe Mengoni. He created restaurants, hotels, exhibitions and chef schools. He would pay 4.5 million euro to the City of Milan every year. Seven Star was his jewel: 58 suites costing between 1,500 and 15,000 euro a night.
After all, Galleria is a very dynamic marketplace. It will reach its peak in 2020 when it will have among its tenants at least twenty big names like Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Tod’s, Versace and Borsalino.
Source: Corriere della Sera
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi