Almirante Reis regeneration plan
The Portugália quarter on Lisbon’s Almirante Reis avenue is to be done up and turned into a hotel, tourist apartments, housing, shops and services.
According to the TVI24 news channel, Lisbon City Council has approved a request for prior information from the developer which wants to expand the site to include some new build homes while protecting the pre-existing building which dates from the first decade of the last century and would involve reestablishing beer production at the old Cervejaria Portugália factory.
The City Council states that the project, Portugália Plaza, involves the set of buildings on the block of Avenida Almirante Reis and Rua António Pedro which while “maintaining its private ownership will be the subject of an onus of public use.”
This means that in return for planning permission, the developers are expected to set aside some of the proposed housing for the Council’s affordable renting scheme.
The project will be divided into two parts. In the first part (the North), the developer, a fund, called Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário Sete Colinas, will restore and refurbish the old beer factory, altering and expanding the buildings, constructing two new blocks for housing, shops and services.
In the South part of the complex of buildings, the developer will build a hotel with 165 rooms, a set of tourist apartments and units for shops and services.
The height of the various buildings will vary, never exceeding eight floors (26 metres). In total, the quarter will have 98 buildings in addition to the 2,434 square metres of open space.
The project will not involve the concession of green or public spaces to the city council, but the developers will deliver a part of the housing component to the city authority for its Affordable Rent Programme.
The fund involved, Sete Colinas, is based in the Caixa Geral de Depósitos building and is managed by SilVip, which also manages two other funds, VIP and Atlantis.
In 2019 it was reported in Diário de Notícias that the shareholders of SilVip included José Manuel Pinheiro Espírito Santos Silva, ex-director of BES during the times of Ricardo Salgado who in turn is the cousin of Manuel Salgado, a Lisbon City Council urban planning officer.
However, the real money behind these names is said to be a German fund with €550 million invested in Lisbon mostly in hotels and luxury condominiums.
Two years ago, the consultant promoting the project was Essentia which stated that the apartments would be for middle class families and young professionals.