MILAN — Jennie Enterprise connected members of a community when she was only 13 — they all met to play tennis on Shelter Island in New York during the summer. So it’s not surprising that she developed that natural talent into a profession, eventually launching the Core: New York members-only venture in 2005 with her business and life partner, Dangene.
Core: New York will relocate to 711 Fifth Avenue at the end of the year, while a significant portion of a new Milan outpost is slated to open in December.
For that location, the entrepreneurs are restoring a stately palazzo that includes a former convent in central Milan, on Corso Matteotti, near the San Carlo church, which will cover 40,000 square feet.
By the end of the year, a large portion of the space will be up and running, including the restaurant connected to the terrace; the Dangene Institute — a regenerative clinic that works on age optimization and longevity through innovative medical technologies; a portion of the fitness and wellness area, and some of the suites (out of eight total). The balance of the building is meant to be completed in April.
“We looked at about 30 different sites in Milan, one more beautiful than the next, but it was love at first sight on this one,” says Dangene Enterprise.
The goal is always to identify “a building that has some historical and architectural significance” — it is “rare to find one that has so much outdoor space, with four terraces, a courtyard and a bell tower, which is unique, and all in the heart of the city,” she explains.
“This is quite extraordinary,” echoes Jennie Enterprise. “And we didn’t want to have to deconstruct and reconstruct a building, we wanted to take its essence and animate it.” To do that, they turned to architects Marijana Radovic and Marco Bonelli of studio M2atelier for design.
Outdoor spaces are key to Core. The new New York site will have terraces covering 8,000 square feet, and a new San Francisco location in the works for late 2023 will look over the Redwood Park. There are also two Core locations in the pipeline in the U.K., according to the Enterprises.
The Enterprises tout the “international relevance and vibrancy” of Milan, where they have been spending much of their time since 2016 — travel restrictions permitting — noting the city has “layers of diversity. It is not only the center of gravity of design and fashion — it’s broader than that.”
Just don’t call Core a club, insists Jennie Enterprise, as that term “is limited to sharing a personal and specific passion, seeking entertainment, creating work connections.” Core, on the other hand, “is a community, before being a physical location, believing in differences, plural and shared passions, in the idea of generating transformation. It is defined by the composition of its members, it’s about ethos and culture. The magic is in the intersection of different people colliding, whether more established or just bubbling up. We are known as the anti-club for our different approach, we are relentlessly focused on maintaining the magic of the diverse community that is Core,” she says.
The group has a very active cultural program through a community that interacts even without a physical location, and more than 200 events have been held so far, she notes. In Milan, a theater will stand on the ground floor of the five-story building, and a library will be located on the first floor.
Core does not merely attract a local community, but rather an international group of people who “live in multiple places, unlike-minded people that want to be challenged and are curious — it’s all about the exchange. Affiliation has nothing to do with wealth, ethnicity, religion or politics,” Jennie Enterprise continues, citing a “growing and intensifying” membership demand.
Members are split between men and women, and new ones are presented by Core’s existing members or selected by an international committee.
The Milan location will feature culinary experiences with an ongoing rotation of chefs from around the world, and wine-tasting programs meant to “elevate the journey of discovery,” says Jennie Enterprise.