Crisis-hit Italy has enhanced state asset leasing activity to help public finances while guaranteeing the renovation of important buildings, the director of the Italian Government Agency for State Property, Stefano Scalera, said here on Tuesday.
The agency, which is responsible for the management and development of state properties, has offered to lease 3 percent, or around 1,000 buildings, of its 56-billion-euro portfolio of government-owned real estate.
The logic of the project, Scalera explained in a conference at the Milan Foreign Press Association, centered on the regeneration of unused public goods through the long lease instrument for periods of up to 50 years and is focused on the proposed business model.
According to Scalera, the agency has recently published two tender calls for the leasing of buildings of historical and artistic value in the cities of Milan and Florence, to be renovated and converted to house new tourist and cultural activities.
International private companies intending to take part in a tender must submit an "unrestricted" offer with plans of how to develop and enhance the asset.
A total of six properties have been leased by the agency between 2012 and 2013, while 13 other projects are being evaluated, with investments generally varying from 400,000 to one million euros, Scalera said.
The project, which may be also enriched with properties owned by other public bodies or administrations, adds to a plan to raise 1.5 billion euros from selling public buildings in the 2014-2016 period.
The plan was included in the 2014 budget bill that has been recently approved by the coalition government of Prime Minister Enrico Letta and must be scrutinized and voted by parliament before the end of the year.
A more accurate knowledge of public real estate assets should guide the choices of space rationalization and efficient management of the activities, Scalera noted.