The first stone has been laid at White Shell Beach Villas, the €12 million tourist complex that is being built in Senhora da Rocha, Porches.
The project is headed by Vanguard Properties, led by French television magnate Claude Berda who earlier this month announced plans to invest €300 million in Portuguese real estate.
The four-star development in Porches will feature 55 apartments with “beautiful views of the sea” as well as a spa, gym, three pools and several tennis and paddle courts.
The complex’s construction will employ around 60 people and is expected to last around a year and a half. Hopes are that its opening will provide a considerable boost to the local economy and tourism.
A ceremony to lay the first stone was held on Tuesday (April 18) and attended by Berda, his Portuguese representative José Cardoso Botelho and Lagoa mayor Francisco Martins.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us,” Botelho told the Resident after the ceremony.
“The Algarve is a region that is growing but few hotel projects are being developed. I already knew the Algarve, I had been here and stayed at Vila Vita Parc in Porches and when we saw this project in the portfolio of Banif (the Azores bank sold to Santander Totta after its collapse), we decided to take it over,” he added.
Botelho says, however, that the project has been changed substantially and is now “much better".
“We reduced the number of apartments from over 70 to 55, but the complex’s conditions have been improved,” he told us.
Vanguard Properties plans to keep the complex open “all year” and will promote it as an ideal destination for families.
An underground car park will be built “so that there are no cars inside the complex, creating a safer and calmer atmosphere for children”.
White Shell will also boast the BREEAM certificate, which evaluates the “sustainability” of real estate projects and is valued strongly in “markets such as Scandinavia and Germany”.
Botelho also praised Lagoa council for welcoming the project “with open arms”.
He added that Vanguard Properties is interested in “three or four other projects” in the Algarve though further details are being kept on hold for now.
BY MICHAEL BRUXO firstname.lastname@example.org