Hines snaps up Milan's landmark Velasca Tower from Unipol

MILAN, Jan 16 (Reuters) - U.S.-based real estate group Hines has acquired the landmark Velasca Tower in the centre of Milan from Italian insurer Unipol and plans to transform the building into a luxury office-led complex, the company said on Thursday.

Built in the 1950s, the mushroom-shaped tower is one of the most recognizable architectural symbols of Milan, located in the heart of the historic centre, close to the city’s cathedral.

Velasca Tower is a 27-story building, approximately 100 metres tall, with over 20,000 square metres of office, commercial and residential space.

The property was acquired by Hines though a newly incorporated real estate investment fund managed by the Italian real estate fund and asset manager Prelios Sgr for an undisclosed price.

Two sources close to the matter said Hines clinched the deal for around 150 million euros ($167.2 million).

“The Torre Velasca tower is an historic, landmark building instantly recognizable to all residents and visitors to Milan,” said Mario Abbadessa, Hines’ Italy country head. ($1 = 0.8974 euros) (Reporting by Andrea Mandalà and Elisa Anzolin; editing by James Mackenzie and Susan Fenton)