Doughty Hanson continues Italian program with investment in Padua site (IT/UK)

Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate, one of the largest and most successful European real estate fund managers, has acquired a large parcel of land in Padua, northern Italy, with building rights for 68,615 m², as part of its continuing commitment to the Italian residential market.

It is planned to create approximately 400 residential apartments and 17,000 m² of retail space on the site to the east of the city centre. The residential apartments will be targeted at first-time buyers and families looking to move to an area undergoing extensive urban regeneration. Construction is expected to start towards the end of 2008.

This will be the third investment by Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate Fund II in Italy, following high-quality residential developments at sites in Rome, through Via Cavour Srl, and in Brescia, Italy. DH Residencia, a holding company created by Doughty Hanson and its partner, BPD Property Development, will be working on this development in joint venture with San Lazzaro Srl, a company controlled by Mauro Bertani Immobiliare and Edilbasso Group.

As with Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate's other projects in Italy, Europa Risorse Srl, its Italian operating affiliate, has been appointed as the development and project manager. Carlo Romanò, responsible for the Italian activities of Doughty Hanson & Co European Real Estate, said: "There is growing demand for newly-built houses in Padua and more generally in Italy, where there are few, good-quality residential developments. Buyers are looking for modern homes, with green areas, convenient shopping and easy access to the city centre.

"Doughty Hanson, Europa Risorse and BPD continue to have a strong commitment to the Italian residential market and we look forward to building on our track record and local experience to create a successful development."

"We believe it is important to have established a strategic relationship with San Lazzaro, in line with our approach of combining our extensive pan-European knowledge with the expertise of our locally-based partners."

Doughty Hanson and Europa Risorse have re-worked the existing master plan for the Padua site, improving the quality and configuration of the design and building on the theme of its Via Lamarmora project, "Più verde, più luce, più casa" (i.e. "more green, more light, more home"). The apartments will be differentiated from what is available on the market through superior features including energy efficient design, high-quality private and public landscaping and advanced urban design and architecture.

Financing for Doughty Hanson's investment in the Padua site has been provided by Unicredit Banca per L'Impresa, as lead arranger, and MPS Capital Services.

Source: College Hill Associates Ltd

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