30th Anniversary of Portugal’s Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors celebrated in style
The majestic setting of the 18th century Correio-Mor Palace outside Lisbon was chosen to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors (APPII) held last Wednesday in Loures.
The occasion was marked by the publication of a book which traces the founders and foundation of the APPII by distinguished author and academic João Bernardo Galvão Telles, consultant and one of the leading authorities on real estate heritage in Portugal.
The book almost didn’t make it! The torrential rain storms that lashed Portugal last week meant that only a box of the magazines escaped after the printers premises were flooded.
Still, books can be reprinted but moments of magic and fraternity to celebrate what has become a trusted and respected association cannot be replicated so easily, and the cold and rain couldn’t dampen spirits at the classy and memorable event held in a Baroque setting in which wild mushroom cream soup, tender roast duck and fine wines were served to the leading lights in the real estate development industry, serenaded by a duo of fado musicians.
The association was Founded in 1991 – the actual anniversary event had been slated to be held last year, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic was put on ice until this year — by serial business and property entrepreneur Henrique Polignac de Barros.
In a short speech at the event he said he was obviously proud and satisfied to see that the purpose and objectives outlined for the APPII in its constitution which had and have continued to guid its activity throughout its existence, are even more in evidence today than they were at the time of its foundation.
“The idea was to create a strong and representative association t defend the interests of both national and international developers and investors that were (and are) operating in Portugal as well as acting as a first port of call for overseas investors and developers with plans for project in the Portuguese real estate market,” he said.
Henrique Polignac de Barros said that in 1991 as the founder he had the dream of creating an association to “achieve those objectives, give credibility to the real estate market, place the real estate development sector in Portugal firmly on the map as an entity representing developers building the cities of the future, and give the sector and its players the dignified and respected standing it deserved”.
“30 years on and the APPII has successfully achieved its aims and today it is a key player for the sector”, he said.
Polignac de Barros added that there was work to be done and expressed the hope that the association would continue for the next 30 years. “With the challenging and highly competitive times that we now live in”, but times that were also increasingly “more global, international and innovative”, a world that is “constantly changing” this would prove a demanding work in progress, but built on the foundations of the work already achieved in asserting the sector’s interests and position”.
Hugo Santos Ferreira, Vice-President of the APPII, highlighted that the association had achieved respect, standing and a wealth of experience in the market, and is recognised by all the players in the sector for its leadership and associativism, recognised both publicly and politically and that this was undeniable.
“It is the result of the hard work and high level of professionalism pursued by our industry, of all the team at the APPII and, more than this, the closeness and unity of our association and its members”.
The Vice-President of the APPII also emphasised that the association had consolidated itself as “an important and respected association, had increasingly stood up for its members and positioned itself as one of their main supporters, providing a voice for the Portuguese real estate sector in Portugal”.
“Today we have a wealth of 30 years experience under our belts and a support that is provided by over 200 of the most relevant companies in real estate development and investment in Portugal that are our members and to which we would like to thank!
“You can rely on us, we can count on you, and we will ensure that we will be here for another 30 years, providing a strong, dynamic, modern, International association which will fight for the interests of its members,” he concluded.
One of the valued members highlighted in the course of the presentations, who had been with the association from the beginning but due to personal reasons was unable to attend, was the stalwart of Portuguese residential golf resorts, André Jordan.
“It is with great regret that due to limited mobility I cannot attend the celebration of the 30th anniversary of our association. I am very proud to have been a part of the association’s development which has been a big part of my journey in Portugal and to have been able to support Henrique Polignac de Barros in his brilliant leadership of this wonderful initiative.
“Without a doubt our sector is among the most important activities in our country’s economy.
In these 30 years the APPII has represented the real estate development in all its aspects such as architecture, building, financing, municipal master plans, etc., and apart from the respectable way in which our business is conducted, it have served to consolidate confidence in the market.”
To my relief and reassurance, when my dear friend Henrique decided it was time to pass the baton he found in you (Hugo Santos Ferreira) the perfect person to continue our mission.”
The night also provided an opportunity to pay tribute to one man who more than anyone in Portugal had done so much to represent and disseminate the Portuguese real estate sector, the work and projects of its developers, construction companies, estate agents and all allied associations and players — the journalist and publisher Joaquim Pereira de Almeida, founder of Magazine Imobiliário, one of the main printed and online mouthpieces for the Portuguese real estate sector who sadly passed away in 2021 but leaves his legacy in the capable hands of his widow, Anabela Loureiro and Editorial Director, Carla Celestino.