Hines seeks $380M to revamp storied Venice hotels

Bloomberg reports that U.S. investor Hines is looking to raise 300 million euros ($380 million) to renovate two Venice hotels: the Hotel Excelsior and Grand Hotel Des Bains on Venice Lido. Hines Italia SGR is a venture between the Houston-based company and Italian investor Manfredi Catella.

The two plan to redevelop and manage the hotels for the privately held Real Venice 1 fund, Catella.

The project, Bloomberg writes, "shows how private companies can work with the state to generate income from the real estate it owns."

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“The Lido is a good example of a location that includes several run-down public and private assets that require a broader vision and a public-private joint venture that can produce a compelling re-launch plan,” Catella said.

Hines Italia reportedly is in the process of identifying both investment partners and operators for the project, according to Catella. Investors would become stakeholders in the development, receiving a share of its earnings.

The joint venture Italia took over management of the Venice 1 fund with a plan to regenerate the area, according to a Feb. 21 statement. The company is working with Chris Choa of Aecom and Italian architects Vittorio Gregotti and Claudio Rebeschini to study how to refurbish the properties and prepare a plan that will be presented to investors by the end of 2014, Catella said.

Selling vacant properties in Italy’s slumping commercial property market will be a challenge for the government because the assets often require “intense” management from local partners and significant investment from potential buyers to improve them, Catella said and as reported by Bloomberg.

Italy owns as much as 420 billion euros of real estate, according to a September 2011 study.

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