There is the “Invest in Florence” project to revive various areas of the regional capital; there are the artistic restoration works facilitated by new tax breaks; there is the “Florence I care” to sponsor the conservation of public cultural and architectural heritage. These are the three paths that the Municipality of Florence has predisposed to offer private entities the opportunity to invest in the city and to make use of its potential both in terms of economic production and of media visibility.
The most substantial program pertains to real estate. Within a few weeks, the new Regolamento Urbanistico [Urban Planning Document] (which lists all the properties and buildings on the city’s land) which will assign a change of function for approximately 800,000 sqm of the city’s land. This step, requested by the public administration led by Mayor Dario Nardella, is crucial because it introduces a simple and flexible means for investments on the territory by interested private entities. It is simple because it thins out the bureaucratic procedures necessary to obtain authorizations, with the predicted outcome of providing temporal certainty for the deployment of projects. If is flexible because it does not rigidly fix the use (commercial, residential, productive, etc) for individual area of the real estate property.
Approximately 70 sites are ready to be showcased, and in some cases, investors (some of them international) are moving forward. For these sites, the Municipality of Florence has already defined, in detail, the functions and potentials of each property, as well as specifying the commitments and conditions that the buyer must meet to close a sale. Nearly all areas are private, and many are slated as productive sites.
Fore the ideal situation where all 800,000 sq m are subject to interventions, the estimates indicate that “Invest in Florence” could generate €1.5 billion in investments (excluding the profits from the property sales) with an economic fallout of 10,000 jobs.
The second way to invest on Florence passes through art and culture. At the end of January, the Municipality defined a top ten list of works and monuments that require restoration or redevelopment. The goal is to identify private entities that will contribute to the recovery of this well-known heritage (Piazzale Michelangelo, the Palazzo Vecchio Museum, the Neptune fountain, etc.) by taking advantage of the new tax breaks introduced by the so-called “art bonus”. According to this regulation, there will be a tax credit of 65% in 2015 and 50% in 2016 for contributions made towards the conservation of historical, artistic, or cultural goods. The interventions needed for the first ten Florentine monuments amounts to approximately 24 million.
The third instrument to draw investors’ attention to Florence is “Florence I care”. This program targets businesses, and public and private entities to sponsor interventions not only on artistic heritage, but on municipal properties used for social functions and educational purposes. Through these interventions, investors primarily gain media attention that is superior to direct marketing, because it comes through a social activity.
In partnership with IlSole24Ore
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