The green and red condo developments of Milan have a unique history, and they’re no strangers to controversy.
Nowhere is that more evident than the city’s famous Beaver Village condominium complex, where an ugly dispute erupted over a $150 million (€132 million) purchase.
In December, a group of residents in Beaver Village had to vacate their homes, which were sold to the developer for €100,000 ($115,000).
After the residents protested and the developer demanded €150 million in compensation, the local newspaper Venezia Novosti published an editorial accusing the developer of “taking advantage of a situation in which the residents have to vacation in order to save their property.”
However, in a recent interview with Fondazione Veneziana, the developer, Gianluca Capozzi, said that the eviction of the residents was an act of the “opposition” in order for him to sell the land for a cheaper price.
“The opposition wanted to sell, but in reality we had to do this, because the price is €150m, not €150,” Capozzini told the paper.
Capozzi is the former chief executive of the Italian football team AC Milan and the former president of the club’s board.
However the residents’ eviction led to a new conflict between Capozza and the residents, who claimed the developers had illegally removed their homes.
Since then, the city of Milan has faced numerous accusations of evictions and “illegal dumping,” with the residents having to vacitate their properties on several occasions.
The city has been forced to suspend the permits for the Beaver Village development, which is located just two kilometers (1.5 miles) from the site of a deadly police shooting in 2011, after the residents complained that the developers’ property was “unsuitable for human habitation.”
But in a way, the Beaver Villages controversy is nothing new.
In 2013, a local newspaper published an opinion piece accusing Capozzo of “imperiling the residents and the development of the town” by “taking the profits and giving them to a few wealthy families.”
A year earlier, a similar story ran in Fondazzione Viglie, which cited a lawsuit by residents in the town against CapoZZi and his company, CapoZio Development, over the purchase of a building for €75 million (US$87 million).
In 2015, a court ruling in the same case declared that the residents had the right to their homes and had the opportunity to vote on the purchase.
While Capoizzi has always denied any wrongdoing, it’s been known that CapoZIOS owners have received lucrative commissions on deals in the past.
After Capozi took over the Beaver Villa in 2012, the developers agreed to pay the residents €300,000 (US $360,000) for a house in the resort town.
A few years later, the same building was sold to CapoZAID, which gave the residents a new lease for a €300 million (S$425 million) apartment complex.
But the current controversy could prove more costly.
According to the Milanese newspaper Corriere della Sera, CapoaZZi is appealing the court’s ruling in order “to protect his assets, to prevent them being used against him and the company.”
The Beaver Village residents are hoping to get their day in court.
Follow Giuseppe on Twitter at @GiuseppeBucchi.