Money and lives blocked, the trap of cohousing – Chronicle

Money and lives blocked, the trap of cohousing – Chronicle
Money and lives blocked, the trap of cohousing – Chronicle

Milano – The memory of the 60 families back to 2016, when at the Arci Bellezza club he was presented with great fanfare the ambitious Coventidue cohousing project, with the former city planning councilor of the Municipality of Milan Ada Luca De Cesaris among the guests. However, the promise of a profitable investment for the dream home in the center and a life dedicated to sharing space and resources, exporting the Northern European model to Milan, proved to be a trap. Five years of money in smoke, time burned and endless waiting, without being able to get the prestigious apartments at number 22 of Corso XXII Marzo for which they staked their savings.

“We are not naïve but people who believed in a seemingly solid project – explains a buyer – my husband and I have made a heavy mortgage and we are still forced to rent in another house”. Five families have paid half a million. The others put on the table from 200 to 300 thousand euros. Taking a step back, the Coventidue project seemed to have put an end to one “Soap opera”, made up of endless disputes, with the center the Liberty building of 5 thousand square meters built at the beginning of the twentieth century. The fund managed by Bnp Paribas Reim Sgr sold the building to Coventidue Srl, a company with NewCoh behind it, also promoter of the portal: an operation financed in part by the sums advanced by future buyers guaranteed by a surety with Reale Mutua and in part (€ 13 million) by Ubi Banca.

In the note released in 2017 by Bnp Paribas there was talk of “a cohousing operation conceived and managed by, designed by architect Leopoldo Freyrie and with an arrengement by Harley Dikkinson Finance which will lead to the construction of over 50 real estate units. “The system seemed advantageous, because the purchase prices were lower than the market.” The problems arose almost immediately – rebuild families – and the renovation work continued to go slowly. “Years also marked by the first court cases, by reminders followed by promises and reassurances as time passed inexorably until 2020, when the first lockdown blocked all construction sites, including that of Corso XXII Marzo. Which would never reopen. It emerged that already from 2019 Coventidue he had stopped paying suppliers. Meanwhile it has come to the surface the crisis of the galaxy of related companies which had also promoted another operation that ended in a big bluff, the Urban Village Navigli project presented in 2017 as “one of the largest cohousing operations in the world”, on which De Cesaris also worked as a legal consultant. The redevelopment that never started in the area in via Pestalozzi 18 turned out to be a mockery for the 30 buyers who paid the deposits.

A pattern identical to that of Corso XXII Marzo. The ball is passed to the Bankruptcy court, which has the NewCoh commissioner (Srl with a capital of 50 thousand euros and shares divided at 50% between the sole director Marco Bolis and the company Multiservice Immobiliare) and the other associated companies, overwhelmed by debts. For the buyers of Corso XXII Marzo, in a tangled skein that also sees credit giants among the actors, two paths could be opened: the purchase at a higher price or the return of money, thus returning to the starting point. Meanwhile, the times for the resumption of work have still slipped. “The damage is immense – they conclude – and goes far beyond the value of the sums paid and expenses. It is worth the lives blocked for years”.

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