The Mayor in Council: “If they have a positive impact we’ll bring in more”. But there are at least ten of them on the horizon.
By Mitia Chiarin
21 December 2018
MESTRE. “We take responsibility for having authorized four hotels near the Mestre Station. And if they have a positive impact, we’ll bring in more: at the stadium and at the airport”, said Mayor Luigi Brugnaro the other day in City Council. In reality there are far more hotels on the way on the Mestre mainland than the four on Via Ca’ Marcello, which open their doors with 1900 beds. All are owned by foreign hotel chains, among which feature the Israeli LeonardoHotel and the Chinese Plateno. The number will rise to 2200 beds next spring when the doubling in size of the hostel run by German company AO will be ready.
There’s no question that Via Ca’ Marcello has changed with these real estate developments and is no longer a run-down street near the train station. But watching the business of tourism on the mainland you can’t hide the fact that the offering is growing exponentially. Certainly hotels provide jobs, and the estimates for the coming decades indicate a significant growth in global tourism (it’s estimated that 20 million passengers a year will arrive at Marco Polo in 2030), but the hotels in Mestre obscure the fact that the big attraction for global tourism is Venice.
And while in the historic city the center-right Administration is blocking the change of use of buildings to make them hotels, on the mainland at least ten new hotels will arrive shortly, with a great impact.
Looking around the wider area surrounding the Mestre Station, which is at the center of the Planning Agreement signed Wednesday by the Mayor in Rome with the Ferrovie Group, it’s clear that there will be many more new hotels. Two hotels are called for in the two 100 meter high towers, on 28,000 square meters of surface, included in the Planning Agreement that calls for private investments. Another hotel is called for also in the 168 meter high tower that is part of the Cediv Salini project on Via Ulloa, which is also involved in the plan for the Mestre Station; thus another 570 rooms on the horizon. A hotel is planned for the new Stadium at Tessera, and a hotel with a view of the Marco Polo docks was added to Save’s 2021 masterplan, moving the schedule up for a project that was initially planned for 2035. Likewise a hotel is planned for some of the floors of the “Venus Venis” tower, which is also 100 meters high. The real estate company Blo is ready in the coming months to present a request for permission to build this hotel after a positive outcome in the Via Commission of the metropolitan City. Even at Pili, the Mayor’s land, a hotel is called for along with the palasport. However this plan still is not ready. Other projects await the outcome of events: the future of the San Lorenzo Tower, an incomplete building on Via San Pio X, is tied to an auction. Up for auction is also the land next to the union headquarters, on Via C’ Marcello, where a hotel is also called for. The future of the ex-Umberto I, four acres in the city center and with an urban plan that calls for a hotel in one of the three towers, is awaiting the judicial decision regarding a proposal of a consortium of investors. The project for a hotel near San Giuliano Park is waiting for buyers, while a fund has now acquired from Intesa SanPaolo the large offices of the ex-Carive on Via Tornio. Here as well one of the proposals for conversion of the property is to make it a hotel.
The Mestre that we find beautiful, after the opening of M9, is becoming the hub for tourists who visit Venice during the day and in the evening look for something to do in the city. The new hotel projects alongside the Station are pushing other businesses to accelerate their renovations. This has already been done with the expansion of Corso del Bologna. The Plaza is also studying a renovation, this involving the former Crivellari parking garage. Anda Hostel has also opened, which is aimed at attracting young clients with new tourism experiences, going beyond the traditional offering. Then there is the big business of tourist rentals which has for the first time indicated that Mestre is sold out.
Many ask if there is a limit to tourism: if the buses of Mestre are condemned to be packed with tourists and day workers headed for Venice, and if the fees from urban development and the hotel taxes will be invested in transportation and new services for the growing city, growth that is thanks to the tourism economy. Behind the “wall” of hotels, there are these discussions that call for choices, planning and limits.
-Source: La Nuova Venezia