«Porto is no longer a question mark, it is a certainty», stated Ricardo Valente, councilman for Economy, Tourism and Commerce at the Porto City Hall, during the conference «Why Porto? Porto’s international attractiveness and its impact on the real estate market» which took place yesterday integrated within Porto’s Urban Renewal Week.
Porto «has an enormous attractiveness, there are increasingly more projects arriving at the city. 60% of investors are international. And there is an enormous diversity in terms of investors’ nationalities. This means that Porto has the capacity to be sold in 30 different countries», pointed out the councilman. That is why, «corporate investment is already as important as pure real estate and tourism investment».
Ricardo Valente states that the municipality’s goal is to «develop the city of talent», because «that is what makes Portugal unique». The idea is to build a talent platform, Porto.fortalent, and also to expand the Porto University and create a new international campus.
He also left a warning: «cities that do not bet on digital, will be left behind. Cities’ challenge will be to develop the new economy, which will need new and bigger offices and talent. We need office offer and areas to build».
On a panel dedicated to the new trends in the office segment, on which João Leite Castro, partner at Predibisa also took part, Leonor Magalhães, from Blug, alerted for the fact that the new offer which will be needed will have to be in line with the new trends in terms of work places, because «the way we work today is different from the way we worked yesterday and it will be different from the way we will work tomorrow». «Today it is important to create buildings where people feel happy while working». Features such as a good infrastructure in terms of communication and connectivity, «echo conscious» environment, location and 24 hours per day accessibility are some of those in most demand by companies.
Investment in offices grows in Porto
On the new real estate investment pipeline for Porto are offices, a segment which is expanding, and which will «drag» housing, with the increase in the number of workers within the city – «it is a great business opportunity», stated during the debate’s round table Tiago Violas, CEO of group Violas Ferreira, who shared his experience concerning project Palácio dos Correios, whose marketing will soon begin.
Gilles Emond, Head of Real Estate at Ageas in Portugal, which has a new headquarters in Porto, confirmed his interest in the city and the importance of talent, stating that «as investors, we look for opportunities to buy in Porto». And Paulo Guedes, from Critical Teckworks, said that «what brought the company to Porto was the existence of great talent in engineering, its location and the capacity to attract talent».
Carlos Góis, representing Sodexo, highlighted the importance of Porto’s «excellent» accessibility, and the fact that «we manage to have very competitive prices which are much lower than those within the rest of Europe. The mix accessibility, price and talent, was the winner in Porto».
Sharing his experience, Duarte Aires, from Vetor Mais, stated that the new offices have to take into consideration the employees so as to improve the talent retention – «more than aesthetics, functionality is very important».