This tendency is attested by João Nuno Magalhães, General Director of Predibisa, specialist consultancy in the real estate market in the north of the country, which confirms that the city is becoming increasingly attractive, and on the radar of international investors, a result of both the strong movement for urban renewal, and the emergence of new zones for the installation of new businesses.
Although it is beginning to gain strength as a new centre of attraction for international investment, the city now lacks available spaces of the required quality. “Demand is acute for large spaces, especially for call centres and shared services, as well as in technology and consultancy”, comments João Nuno Magalhães
Besides the growing scarcity in the city of available supply of the right size and necessary requisites, “there has now been a lack of new, adaptable construction for about five years”, the Director General of Predibisa warns.
The Eastern zone emerges as a business location
The office space market of Porto can be divided into four zones: Boavista, the Baixa (Downtown), the Industrial Zone, and the Eastern zone. It is in this Eastern area of the city, specifically in Paranhos, Antas and Campanhã, that Predibisa has indentified more future oppostunities for investors, although it is one of the most deprived urban areas of the city, its development has been targeted by the UPTEC, a ‘startups’ incubator with a technological base and a creative centre.
In Campanhã, which has already been chosen by such large firms as NOS for their city offices, monthly reference rentals are around 9 to 10€/m², a value which is in line with those in the downtown Baixa (9 to 11€/m²/ a month), which still lacks much renovation and infrastructure. In the prime zone, Boavista, where the most recent and efficient buildings are located, the monthly rent is approximately 12 to 16€/m². In the old Industrial Zone of Porto, which has been transformed into a service area with the installation of various warehouses and new office blocks, benefitting from the proximity of the metro and good access, rent values are between 10 to 12,5 €/m²/month.
“The renewal of the urban centre, the construction of car parks and the Porto Metro are some of the factors which have led to the emerging demand for office space in the Baixa”, explains João Nuno Magalhães. Also, taking advantage of this “ride”, the Avenida dos Aliados now stands out as an opportunity for the further development of supply of office space, given that several former financial concerns which chose to locate their offices within the city are now relocating.