Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and international property group Lendlease have expanded their joint venture relationship into Italy.

The Canadian investor and Lendlease have teamed up in a 50:50 partnership and will jointly invest €400m in an Italian real estate alternative investment fund pursuing the development of the first phase of the West Gate area of the Milano Innovation District (MIND). 

MIND, located on the former 2015 World Expo site, is set to become an innovation district anchored by life sciences and technology.

The pair’s capital commitment to the fund will be used for the development and long-term ownership of approximately 150,000sqm of the 480,000sqm that Lendlease has private development rights for, which has an estimated development end value of €2.5bn.

The fund will be managed by Lendlease’s Italian arm and Lendlease Services business will undertake the role of development and project manager.

CPP Investments and Lendlease already have joint venture projects at both Barangaroo in Sydney, Australia, and Elephant Park in London, UK.

Andrea Ruckstuhl, the head of continental Europe for Lendlease, said: “Partnering with CPP Investments is an important milestone for this exciting project in Milan. Our partnership will honour the legacy of the former Milan World Expo site and help realise the vision of establishing a world-class innovation district.”

Andrea Orlandi, managing director, head of real estate investments – Europe at CPP Investments, said: “MIND represents an excellent opportunity for CPP Investments to extend our relationship with an experienced existing global partner and an expansion of our investments in the life sciences sector, building on our experience at Milton Park in the UK.”

This new destination in Milan is set to become one of the top life-sciences campuses in Europe, supported by a new Italian hospital and the University of Milan Life Science campus and research institute, Orlandi said.

”We are providing long-term capital for this project which will ultimately generate strong risk-adjusted returns for CPP contributors and beneficiaries.” 

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