Famed for its Renaissance architecture, fashion heritage and position at the heart of Tuscany, Florence is a magnet for international buyers. Many arrive dreaming of an apartment in a converted palazzo in the centro storico, with views of Brunelleschi’s Duomo or Giotto’s Campanile.
Yet now the city offers an alternative type of home – one that is dramatically different from anything that has gone before. State-of-the-art industrial-style apartments are taking shape in Manifattura Tabacchi, a former tobacco factory in a vibrant new artistic district in the northwest of the city.
The largest regeneration project in the region continues Florence’s tradition of art, design and craftsmanship with a mixed-use community that will include the Polimoda fashion school, ateliers, a brewery, boutique hotel, concept stores and co-working spaces for local artisans and entrepreneurs.
Described as a “cutting-edge neighbourhood” by Polimoda’s president, Ferruccio Ferragamo – son of the shoe designer Salvatore – Manifattura Tabacchi includes a first phase of 43 lofts and apartments. The most historic building, Puro, will be converted into 22 lofts designed by the prestigious Italian firm Q-bic. Anilla, the most characteristic building, meanwhile, has been conceived by renowned Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola. Both buildings reach Breeam standards for sustainable certification.
The breadth of facilities available to residents is impressive, with access to a concierge service, bicycle lab, delivery room, fitness suite and pet grooming area. As one apartment owner explains when asked why he has invested here, rather than in the historic city centre: “This modern hub is the future of Florence.”
The first phase – from 60 square metre apartments to a 250 square metre penthouse – cost from €387,000 to €2,115,000 and will be completed by 2023, with a new tram line linking the development to the city centre in 2025. Owners are already on board from Italy, the US, China, Germany and the Netherlands and, along with fashion students of 78 nationalities, this is set to be a highly cosmopolitan community. With the number of properties sold in Florence in 2021 9.4% higher than in 2019, according to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Italy’s flat tax on foreign income for new residents continuing to attract international buyers, the future of the city looks bright – and Manifattura Tabacchi shines brightest of all.
Pictures from top: the exterior of Manifattura Tabacchi; computer generated images of the interiors of Manifattura Tabacchi