MILAN IMBROGLIO: Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele has seen it all, from Allied bombing in World War II to litigation brought by McDonald’s when it was prevented from renewing its lease inside the arcade in 2012.
Now, the city’s beloved 19th-century landmark and shopping hub is once again the source of bickering, as the regional administrative court, or TAR, has ruled that the terms under which Versace, Prada and Armani signed new leases in the gallery do not respect market regulations: namely, the city reassigned the spaces, previously occupied by other tenants, without soliciting general proposals.
The city of Milan has hotly disputed criticism of the new leases, noting that the luxury fashion houses are paying double the rent of the former occupants. In addition, Versace and Prada are contributing over 3 million euros, or about $4 million at current exchange, to restore the Galleria, polishing its stone surfaces and plaster decorations and bringing the walls’ original creamy tone back to light – nothing to sneeze at, city officials argue, when public funds are scarce.
According to local media reports quoting Milan’s deputy mayor, the city intends to appeal the TAR’s decision.