Summary of key discussions at Italia GRI 2018
Gateway or Gatekeeper of Capital?
The future of Milan weighed heavily on our participants’ minds, naturally Milan holds most of the core potential but how much product at the right price can be yet squeezed? Most were very optimistic about the future of Milan as a promising investment destination; focusing on Milan’ big projects’ (with Pierfrancesco Maran - Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning, Milan - highlighting the best new hot spot to look at). Some were cautious about whether the investment landscape was still proving to be more global than local and whether the domestic market were being pushed to secondary locations or alternative asset classes.
Still Dividing Investor Sentiment?
The majority agreed that Milan alone cannot be sufficient to relaunch the whole real estate Italian sector. The industry needs brave pioneers able to create value in the rest of Italy. Contrasting opinions were given to Rome: the eternal city divides investors who class the city as a ‘no hope’ against others who see in it ‘an imminent arrival of equity’.
Has WeWork Changed the Game?
Patrick Nelson (WeWork) challenged us to re-imagine the future of offices and working together. This brave new world of ‘millennial’s communities’ fired up a special plenary discussion that allowed investors, developers and asset managers alike to understand what it truly means to develop, own and operate these days that fit customer demand. What’s next for this disruptive force and how far can it last in the current property cycle?
Overall, our sessions on retail, logistics, e-commerce, hospitality, senior & student housing allowed dynamic debates on how our industry can satisfy future occupier demands on live, work, shop and play. Finance and investment strategies were debated from the market life cycle, alternative sources of debt finance and opportunistic and defensive strategies.
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