A neighborhood totaling more than 15,000 sq m, a 34 million Euro investment, a world famous architect like Richard Rogers, known for the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Millennium Dome in London. These are the highlights of the large urban planning project that has transformed Scandicci, a town of 50,000 inhabitants in the Florentine hinterland, west of the regional capital, which will open its doors within a few months with the opening of the first stores, less than three years from when ground was broken: an operation that places Tuscany at the forefront not only of redevelopment and of architectural development, but also in the ability to integrate public and private entities.
The project is a mix of residential buildings, stores, and offices that develops around a public square (4,000 sq m) and an auditorium and that has as its reference point the station that for a couple years has connected the city with downtown Florence and with the Santa Maria Novella train station: a peripheral area that has become a residential and commercial center that is both integrated into the regional capital as well as sustainable – given the intention of keeping it as an entirely pedestrian center. In its details, the project signed by Rogers, who has worked on the master plan since 2004, includes residential spaces totaling 7,200 sq m, equaling 80 apartments, 2,300 sq m of stores – with the first ones opening as early as September – 4,000 sq m of office space, and a 2,700 sq m auditorium. The commercial spaces were sold to Confesercenti (an association that unites small businesses in the commerce, tourism, services and industrial sectors) for approximately 7 million Euros, 70% of the residences have been sold, and there are negotiations in progress with potential investors interested in the office spaces.
The comprehensive commitment, in terms of construction costs, was of 34 million; and Scandicci’s new “center” saw the light thanks to a project financing and a partnership between public direction of the project and the contribution of private entities that saw the involvement of the CMSA and UNICA cooperatives. The delivery of the structures that ratifies the transformation of an area comprising of gardens and uncultivated fields into a new active space approximately 20 minutes from Florence and well connected with the A1 Autostrada del Sole Highway. But Scandicci’s urban revival does not stop with Richard Rogers’ center: the Municipality has already undertaken a path to redevelop the nearby marketplace that hosts a local market, an ample parking lot and playgrounds for children.