Franco Cozzo: ‘No listen anybody, I’m staying Footscray’

Franco Cozzo is staying in Footscray — for now. Picture: Jake Nowakowski.

Breathe easy, everybody. Franco Cozzo isn’t leaving his beloved Footscray, just yet. 

The 82-year-old has taken to social media to let fans know he is staying put, for now, amid reports on the ultimate grand sale of his iconic inner west furniture store.

“Hello my friend, I’m Franco Cozzo from Brunswick and Footscray,” he spruiks in the passionate Facebook address.

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“No listen anybody, I’m staying Footscray. I am in Footscray, I’ll tell you when I go from Footscray. Ciao.”

The video has amassed more than thousands of likes so far.

Franco Cozzo Footscray

Franco Cozzo’s store on Hopkins St in Footscray.

Cozzo’s 1088sq m Footscray site at 54-58 Hopkins St has been snapped up by a developer for more than $7 million, but the much-loved Melbourne landmark will remain for at least the next three years, one of the agents who had the listing told the Herald Sun.

“The buyer is a developer but at this stage Franco is staying there for three years, so nothing will change in the near future and eventually permits will be obtained and it will be developed,” Kelemen Commercial’s Rudy Kelemen says.

“It’ll be a residential tower at the end of the period. I guess it’s going to take three years before Franco’s moved, the permits will probably take that long and five years from now eventually there’ll be a tower there.”

Franco Cozzo

Cozzo outside the inner west landmark. Picture: Jake Nowakowski.

He says there has been “enormous interest in the site for a long time,” adding the buyer has a lot of projects and is well known, but he could not share their identity.

Cozzo’s 1980s TV ads where he would spruik the furniture at his Brunswick and Footscray stores in a mix of English, Italian and Greek, are an enduring hit of nostalgia that’s seen the charismatic salesman stay relevant throughout the years.

The father of 10 opened the Footscray shop, known for its extravagant style, after he came to Australia in 1956.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Franco Cozzo sale: ‘No listen anybody, I’m staying Footscray”.