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ROME-Doughty Hanson and Italian fund manager Fondi Immorbiliari Italiani SGR have bought a complex of historical buildings in Rome for euro 64 million ($81.8 million). The deal forms part of Doughty Hanson’s strategy of investing in high-quality Italian housing.

Doughty will refurbish the properties into 76 highly specified apartments. The historic site contains six buildings overlooking the Coliseum and Forum. It is bordered by Via Cavour and Via Giovanni Lanza and is in front of Via Cavour metro station.

The scheme comprises 12,800 sm and, in addition to the apartments, will include common areas and parking. It will be marketed at the high-net-worth residential market in Rome.

“We continue to be enthusiastic about the Italian residential market,” says Douglas Edwards, principal at Doughty Hanson, “where there is a significant opportunity to reposition and refurbish old and historic buildings in the major cities. We chose Via Cavour for its central location, aesthetic quality and ability to convert to residential.”

Doughty already has three projects underway in Italy, including a 11,658-sm site in Brescia where the company plans to develop apartments aimed at upper- and middle-income buyers. It is also working on 115 units in Orti Antichi, a high-quality residential development in the historic quarter of Milan as well as Maciachini–95,000 sm of offices, retail and restaurants in Milan.

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