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Edizione Property in Talks to Rent Venice's Palazzo Fontego dei Tedeschi

DFS Group, the luxury and duty-free retailer majority-owned by LVMH, could be in pole position to secure the lease for the 18th-century palazzo.

RETAIL PALACE: The Benetton family’s real estate holding, Edizione Property, confirmed Monday it is in advanced negotiations with an undisclosed retailer to rent Venice’s Palazzo Fontego dei Tedeschi. According to market sources, DFS Group, the luxury and duty-free retailer majority-owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, could be in pole position to secure the lease for the 18th-century palazzo, which the Benetton family bought from the Italian postal service in 2008 for about 60 million euros, or $84 million at average exchange.

After a five-year negotiation with Venice’s municipality, the Benetton family last March got authorization to restore the 101,507-square-foot palazzo. The restoration project, valued at 18 million euros, or about $24 million at current exchange, has been given to Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.