Can you provide an overview of Violas Ferreira’s current presence in the market?

Violas Ferreira, a family office founded by my grandfather in the 1940s, transformed in 2005 into a real estate and financial assets holding. Over the past 17 years, our revenue surged from EUR 1.5 million in 2005 to approximately EUR 9.5 million in 2021. Our portfolio now comprises 75% offices, 5% retail, and the remaining 20% in residential properties. Our primary focus is providing premium office spaces coupled with high-end services.

Why did you choose Porto for office development, and what makes it favorable?

We selected a prime area in Porto, near five universities, facilitating access to a pool of graduates. Portugal’s political stability, educated multilingual workforce, and proximity to the United States, South America, and Africa make it an attractive destination. Our Porto Office Park (POP) offers top-notch amenities like padel courts, gyms, meeting rooms, cafeterias, and restaurants, elevating the office experience.

Considering the influx of foreign investment, what’s the tenant profile like?

Our tenants include domestic firms like law offices, four multinationals based in Portugal, and numerous international brands spanning consultancy, finance, IT, and more. The demand is robust, evident from the immediate leasing of any additional square meters we could offer, due to the current supply-demand imbalance in Portugal.

How did the pandemic impact your sectors, particularly offices?

Initially, there was a hiatus in the first few months, but since late 2020, employees are eager to return to office spaces. We have significant projects in development, including a 60,000 square meter project for Farfetch. Alongside offices, we’re refurbishing the Former University of Pharmaceutics in downtown Porto into a residential project, “Pharmacia,” akin to the famous Greenstone.

What are the main challenges driving a business in Portugal?

Navigating through constant regulatory changes and tax variations poses a challenge. A stable environment is crucial, and we hope the upcoming elections will bring more consistency. Encouraging a more entrepreneurial spirit among the youth is essential. A friendlier tax landscape is necessary to foster a more robust economy.

What are your main aspirations in the next two to three years?

We aspire to replicate our successful Porto Office Park model in other Portuguese cities or similar environments abroad. A development revenue target of EUR 12 million annually in the coming three years stands as our ambitious goal.

Any final thoughts about the Portuguese real estate market?

Portugal’s culture of friendliness is not only evident in daily life but also in business interactions, making it a welcoming place for new investors looking to initiate ventures here.

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