28 January, La Repubblica
A supermarket where there used be the headquarters of the Communist Party, a sports apparel shop in place of the PSI offices, and now luxury hotel rooms in the place that used to accommodate the Forza Italia offices. It’s the sad story of the party offices, turning into shops and hotels.
After having been abandoned in 2015, the former Forza Italia headquarters at number 36 of Via dell’Umiltà will become by 2019 a five-star hotel with thirty rooms, eighteen apartments and a restaurant. Antirion Sgr has, in fact, concluded the negotiation for the property located between Piazza Santi Apostoli and the Trevi Fountain. The operation is valued 36 million euro and has been carried out on behalf of the property fund Antirion Global, an alternative closed-end reserved property trust entirely subscribed by the Enpam Foundation”.
It’s indeed Enpam the new owner of the building, five floors for a total surface of 5 thousand Sq m that at time of Forza Italia were valued 2.8 million euro per year. A too high price even for Berlusconi, who chose the building in 1998 for the headquarters of his political party. The party then moved to Piazza san Lorenzo and the offices in Via dell’Umiltà were left vacant for three years.
Now the property will be renovated, and it will be turned into another luxury hotel in the old town of Rome, which is more and more crowded with tourists and less welcoming for locals. “It seems like there is no development plan in this city that respects the needs of the people living here”, complains Viviana Di Capua, president of the association of the old town residents. “It’s not possible to forget about the local residents and keep them away from the old town which is currently catering only to tourists”. While from one side some historical buildings such as Palazzo Nardino risk to be sold and turned into commercial spaces, on the other side, B&Bs, hotel and souvenir shops are ubiquitous. “The City of Rome can stop all this, but it’s not taking any action”, protests Paolo Gelsomini from the association of the old town residents. He concludes, “it would be enough changing the urban planning or controlling how buildings are being used”.
Source: La Repubblica
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi