Mercan Group and 160 gold visas invest 56 million in a hotel in Porto

24 May, 2021
Mercan Group and 160 gold visas invest 56 million in a hotel in Porto

Mercan Group and 160 gold visas invest 56 million in a hotel in Porto

A few steps away from the future Renaissance Park Hotel, Porto City Hall, will build the Lapa urban park, representing an investment of 1.1 million euros.

The Mercan group and 160 international investors are developing a hotel project in Lapa, Porto's historic district, in an investment of 56 million euros. The Renaissance Park Hotel - Porto, whose construction started at the beginning of the year, is part of a bigger plan for that area of the city, including a 14,600 square meter urban park.

According to Jordi Vilanova, vice-president of the Mercan group, the investors acquired a plot with 22,787 square meters. Of which they gave 17,700 to the city to construct the Lapa urban park and public infrastructures. The concession was in exchange for the licensing of the project.

He noted that the Mercan group's projects combined "foreign investment, with job creation, boosting tourism and local and national development," and that in the case of Porto, "the positive impact goes even further.

As he reveals, the new hotel "is only possible because there were 160 international investors that backed it via the Gold Visas, becoming co-owners and agreeing to donate the majority of the land they acquired to the city". Most investors are from the United States and Asia.

The Porto City Hall has planned an investment of 1.1 million euros to develop the Lapa urban park in this area. At this moment, the specialty projects (engineering) are in their initial phase of execution, with a deadline of 150 days is expected for their completion, said an official source of the local authority. Once this phase is complete, it will be possible to start the proposal process and begin the park's construction.

Ready in summer 2022

The first stone of the Renaissance was laid yesterday (May 19) to symbolically mark the start of construction of the hotel, which began as early as January and will run for the next 18 months.

The hotel, which will bear the Marriott International group brand, will have 163 rooms, an outdoor panoramic pool on the top floor with a bar and terrace, a restaurant for 250 people, and a congress center with a capacity for up to 600 users. The creation of 140 jobs is expected.

This project of the Mercan group adds to the recently announced Four Points by Sheraton in Matosinhos, an investment of 20 million euros, which should be concluded by the end of this year.

"We believe in the potential of tourism in Portugal, and we are convinced that the country has all the conditions that justify betting on this sector so affected by the pandemic. Reasons that lead us not only to maintain but also to strengthen our positioning in Portugal, even in the face of the current economic situation and almost in a counter-cycle", emphasizes Jordi Vilanova.

The Mercan group currently has 12 hotel projects in Portugal, spread across Porto, Gaia, Matosinhos, Amarante, and Évora. According to Jordi Vilanova, "three are completed and should start hotel activity this year, five are in the construction phase and four are in the licensing phase.

A green area in the city center

The Lapa urban park project will take advantage of the terrain's morphology in terraces, with a new approach to the system of views in this part of the city, reveals an official source from the Porto City Council. The plan provides for the repositioning of the Salgueiros stream, currently intubated, in its natural course and the rehabilitation of the masonry aqueduct that crosses the land (section of the Salgueiros spring).

It is also planned to build a cafeteria for public use and install street furniture, signs, and street lighting.

For the local authority led by Rui Moreira, "the central part of the city is already very full of construction, so the creation of a new green space for public use is very important."

The future Municipal Master Plan, which will debate, in Monday's city council meeting (the 24th), has the express objective of doubling the green areas of public access in the city during the next decade, which includes the creation, extension, or requalification of parks and public gardens.