Vilamoura invests €12 million in marina expansion
Vilamoura World is to invest €12 million in expanding Portugal’s largest marina in the Algarve.
The company owned by the US Lone Star vulture fund says the improvements will equip the famous marina to become a “unique residential and tourism destination for the 21st century”.
The investment project will also help to meet the concerns and requirements of holidaymakers and overseas residents in a post-Covid-19 world by providing a low population density resort that is close to nature and away from the madding crowd by offering luxury residential homes with multiple services.
Rob Jenner, who took the helm at the company in October, will spearhead the investment project to expand the marina – the first and largest built in Portugal. The Vilamoura development masterplan involves an overall investment of up to €850 million.
The marina will soon boast an extra 50 moorings to add to the existing 825 to receive larger yachts of between 20-60 metres in length, thereby attracting the luxury yachting market.
The project also envisages the building of a new shopping and restaurant area, work on which will start next year.
The aim is to breathe new life into the existing nautical infrastructure and place it on the same competitive footing as recreational harbours in countries like Croatia, Montenegro and Turkey.
“This project is very important. Other countries are investing to attract luxury tourists and the competition will be fierce,” says Jenner.
Since its launch in 1974, the marina has seen few changes and motorboats make up the lion’s share of vessels which are moored in Vilamoura (70%). The other 30% are yachts and sailing boats.
“We now have clients with boats of over 25 metres which hope to be able to moor at Vilamoura,” adds Jenner.
The marina expansion works are expected to take 18 months but are still awaiting the go-ahead from the Ministry of Defence among other entities.
The shopping and restaurant area should be completed within nine months.
The project also serves as an anchor to attract clients to buy the new townhouses and apartments that are planned for the resort. Vilamoura World has around 350,000m2 of land with building potential.
Rob Jenner admits that this project will require around €200 million of financing added to the €650 million set aside for the Cidade Lacustre project to turn Vilamoura into a destination that meets the requirements of the 21st century.
Cidade Lacustre is a real estate project that integrates homes, apartments for tourists, restaurants and ornamental lakes and which will be called Vilamoura Lakes.
“This represents a significant investment for the Algarve and for Portugal which aims to develop a sustainable brand aimed at the millennials which as a generation have a new lifestyle philosophy based on environmental concerns,” says Jenner adding that while Vilamoura World is responsible for the masterplan, it will not be the only developer involved in the project.