El Corte Inglês to open in Porto
Porto City Council looks set to give the green light to the Spanish department store chain El Corte Inglês to open in the city.
The Council’s officer for the Economy, Tourism and Trade, Ricardo Valente, said last week that the project to build an El Corte Inglés by the Boavista roundabout.
“The El Corte Inglês project will be resurrected in Porto and from what we know, El Corte Inglês have already show their intention to press ahead with the multifunctional project” the councillor told the news agency Lusa.
He said that the Spanish group was “currently dealing with the issue of planning permission” and that Porto City Council was “very satisfied” with progress so far.
“It is extremely relevant for us to have a project of that nature developed in that area of the city” said Cllr. Valente, stressing that the area in which the store would be built was “basically a crater” which “we want gone”.
The councillor also said that the idea was that the project should be more segmented to also include a gym and hotel area.
Ricardo Valente added that he was sure that the project, which had initially been rejected by Porto City Council when led by Mayor Rui Rio, could go ahead as early as next year with the architects plans ready by the end of this year.
In October 2003 the Spanish retail giant negotiated for almost two years with Porto City Council to set up in Portugal’s second city but an agreement on its exact location could not be reached.
The company wanted to build the department store on a parcel of land next to the Boavista roundabout and the city’s emblematic concert, music and arts centre Casa da Música but the Council wanted it located in the downtown Baixa shopping district.