In June 2022, Colliers Global investors Italy acquired a former hotel known as "Quark 2" in Milan with a plan to refurbish the building and convert it into rental apartments.
This move was part of Colliers effort to regenerate the Lampedusa neighbourhood by repurposing this, and nearby complexes, into approximately 600 build-to-rent (BTR) apartment units.
When the previous tenant left Quark 2 in July 2022, they also left behind eight floors' worth of furniture - most of which was still in good shape. Rather than calling a waste disposal company to remove these items, our team instead contacted the City of Milan and local real estate developer Hines Italy and asked for help in donating the furniture to people in need.
'We wanted to be enterprising and do what's right not only for our clients but also for our communities," says Mario Emanuele Paolazzi, Head of ESG, Valuation & Risk Officer, Italy. "Because of the economic crisis and the war, there are so many people who need a home and everything that makes a home comfortable. That's why we decided to turn a waste disposal problem into something that has a positive impact on our community."
With the help of Hines and municipal officials, Colliers identified four trusted charities to collaborate with before arranging all donated materials to be shipped out. This included beds, tables, televisions, dressers, kitchenware and appliances from the former 126 apartments and 12 executive rooms.
Feedback from the charities has been extremely positive, and we have since learned that some items were used to furnish 30 apartments for displaced Ukrainian refugees.