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RealStep Sicaf Gets €70 Million Social-Impact Financing from UniCredit

Certosa District has been developed by Real Step Sicaf in partnership with Jamestown. In the partnership, RealStep owns the properties and acts as developer and asset manager on behalf of its investors. Among the recent transactions carried out in the area by Real Step Sicaf, in August 2022, was the purchase from Savills SGR. Real Step has just received a green loan to continue with sustainable development.



RealStep Sicaf, a real estate development company specializing in the sustainable redevelopment of disused industrial sites, has obtained a €70 million loan from UniCredit to carry out a major urban redevelopment of the industrial complex where the headquarters and production center of the Swedish multinational Sandvik, located in Via Varesina, Certosa area, used to be. Among the users of the project is Whirlpool, with its new EMEA headquarters of about 7,000 square meters.

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The financing is part of the bank’s Social Impact Banking program

The program was created to support initiatives and projects carried out with the intention of generating positive and measurable social impact. It will be monitored until the project’s completion in 2025, when the increase in livability and quality of life in the neighborhood are to be verified, by Triadi srl, a benefit spin-off company of the Milan Polytechnic. Triadi srl grew out of the experience gained by the Tiresia research center on the topics of hybrid entrepreneurship, sustainable finance and social impact measurement.

The team of RealStep, was assisted by the law firm Fivelex, while UniCredit by Advant NCTM, financial advisor was Esperion, tax advisor was the firm Eptalex. For the technical part, RealStep was assisted by the engineering firm Bossi, the notarial part was carried out by Studio ZNR.

The redevelopment, which is part of the larger Certosa District urban regeneration project, also includes La Forgiatura, the sustainable, carbon-free campus already operating in Via Varesina, which has attracted several companies to relocate there, including Medtronic, Zeiss, VF, UCB Pharma, Sandvik, Schuco, Schaeffler, DesignTech and Expression Parfumées. La Forgiatura, one of Milan’s oldest factories for forging steel, had been redesigned and regenerated by Real Step Property Management, headed by Real Step Sicaf, between 2009 and 2012, with a 60 million loan provided by Credit Suisse. Later (2019), it was Ubs Asset Management, on behalf of a club of private investors, that acquired the real estate complex housing Milan’s first carbon-free corporate campus. Real Step Property Management is a real estate investment company founded by CIO Pietro Guidobono Cavalchini and CEO, Stefano Sirolli, and chaired by Francesco Sironi.

Certosa District has been developed by Real Step Sicaf in partnership with Jamestown

Jamestown is a global real estate developer with $13.1 billion in assets under management, with the goal of revitalizing the Certosa district (northwest of Milan) with a new mix of offices, restaurants, stores green spaces accessible to all residents. In the partnership, RealStep owns the properties and acts as developer and asset manager on behalf of its investors. From the perspective of the companies promoting it, Certosa District is expected to become an important multifunctional district, capable of interacting with the urban and social fabric, covering a strategic position as a link between Porta Nuova and Mind, thanks to Certosa Station and the future Milanese Circle Line.

Among the recent transactions carried out in the area by Real Step Sicaf, in August 2022, was the purchase from Savills SGR, on behalf of the C7 Investment Fund, of the complex for office use located in Milan at Via Barrella 6. Among other assets, in February last year, the company sold to German asset manager Patrizia AG a sky-ground property at 89 Via Ripamonti, located in the district that will host the Olympic Village of the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Games. The building was part of a larger real estate complex that included the building at 10 Via Marelli, a former Bocconi University depot, now home to the luxury brand Golden Goose, controlled since February 2020 by Permira. The latter property had been sold in July 2021 by RealStep Sicaf to BNP Paribas REIM, following a complex regeneration operation of two warehouses carried out in 2020.

“For more than two decades we have been working to return former industrial areas or areas in a state of abandonment and degradation to the urban fabric, and the choice on our part of Certosa went precisely in this direction; we have been present in the area for years and we think we have already left a positive imprint. Today, this funding for us is worth as recognition but even more, it will give us the opportunity to measure how much, through our activities, the life of that area can be impacted in a positive way,” said Stefano Sirolli, CEO of RealStep SICAF.

Marco Bortoletti, Unicredit’s Lombardy regional manager, added, “We are very proud to contribute to such an important sustainable urban regeneration process for the city of Milan and to collaborate with a company like RealStep with which we share important values such as the transition to a green and sustainable economy. Sustainability is a tangible aspect now present on a daily basis, both in the environmental and social spheres. Companies like RealStep are social agents of change and contribute to building a sustainable future. We embrace this important urban regeneration project, which we financed with recourse to subsidized funding, also because it is fully consistent with the ESG objectives pursued by Unicredit through the Impact Financing offer with which we want to contribute to the development of a more equitable and inclusive society.”


(Featured image by Towfiqu barbhuiya via Unsplash)

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Helene Lindbergh is a published author with books about entrepreneurship and investing for dummies. An advocate for financial literacy, she is also a sought-after keynote speaker for female empowerment. Her special focus is on small, independent businesses who eventually achieve financial independence. Helene is currently working on two projects—a bio compilation of women braving the world of banking, finance, crypto, tech, and AI, as well as a paper on gendered contributions in the rapidly growing healthcare market, specifically medicinal cannabis.