Joaquim Santos, Mayor of Seixal, foresees that in the coming months more than 1 billion euros of private investments, national and foreign, in the hotel and tourism sector, but also in the pharmaceutical industry and in infrastructures will enter the municipality. In an exclusive interview with Jornal Econômico, the mayor who heads the municipality that was featured in the last edition of the SIL – Salão Imobiliário de Lisboa highlights that the real estate and tourism boom is also being reflected in the exponential growth of local housing in the county.
What is the demand for new foreign inhabitants in the municipality of Seixal?
The increase in demand for the real estate market has been felt in the municipality of Seixal, with high-quality construction projects emerging, not only in areas near the Seixal Bay, such as Quinta da Trindade, municipality, in the proximity of more naturalized areas, such as the Quinta do Pinhão and Monteverde developments. Currently, it is interesting to note that Seixal is experiencing a new dynamic in social and housing terms. An example is the number of foreign citizens who have been choosing the county to reside, in particular French and Swedish, and which has been increasing year by year, seeing in the county a territory with great quality of life at the gates of Lisbon. The prospect is that the number of foreign residents will increase substantially in the coming times, taking into account that the municipality has been visited by numerous foreign delegations that intend to visit the county both to reside and to invest. The participation of the county in several competitions throughout the country has also led to many want to visit and know. Our climate, our geographic location, a few minutes from Lisbon and especially our Bay of Seixal are great attractions that have made many foreigners choose Seixal and not other places to live. Since the beginning of 2017, to date we can talk about the installation of about 200 new foreign households in Seixal, essentially French, Swedish and Swiss.
With regard to the real estate and tourist offer, what are the innovative hotel projects and resorts in progress?
Within the scope of the re-planning strategy of the riverside fronts, five projects will allow rehabilitation of the entire area around the Seixal Bay: the Mundet Hotel, the Quinta da Trindade Hotel, the Seixal Hotel Largo dos Restauradores Eco Resort of Ponta dos Corvos and the Amora Hotel and Marina.
Starting from the Hotel Mundet, it is situated on the riverside front, in the heart of the old town of Seixal, with a privileged view of the Seixal Bay and Lisbon. It has a high potential for the installation of a hotel of four stars or superior, with implantation in a land of 3.680 square meters, with the possibility of building three floors plus a recuado, and basement for parking, with capacity for more than 150 rooms. As the former cork mill Mundet, this hotel will have the particularity of the use of this material, being therefore its concept associated with the cork industry.
How will this hotel unit be awarded?
The public auction procedure will take place in two phases, which will be developed as follows: the first phase, pre-qualification, in which the candidates will have to present at the previous study level a project for the tourist development they intend to build on the plot of the object of the auction, as well as the model of management recommended. This phase ended on October 3.
The second phase, of bidding for the division of the lot, will be restricted to the qualified candidates in the first phase. The bid value for the second phase is 457,520 euros, below which no proposals are accepted.
What is the investment and the expected opening times?
The auction for the public tender will be available in May 2019. The estimated investment is 10 million euros.
What about the Quinta da Trindade Hotel project?
Quinta da Trindade is owned by the municipality of Seixal, has an area of 15,556 square meters and the signs of the first buildings go back to the fifteenth century. It offers a privileged location next to the Seixal Bay and the Tagus River, the river terminal and the Sport Lisbon and Benfica Stages Center. It has a great view over the city of Lisbon. It is a center of the Seixal Vila-Hotel project, for the intention of installing a concept hotel in the buildings that make it up. Then we have the Seixal recreational port project, associated with the Largo dos Restauradores Hotel. The Seixal marina, to be built between the former Seixal river terminal and the Navaltagus shipyard, will accommodate 188 vessels and a wide range of associated economic activities (restaurants, hotels, nautical centers, fishing, etc.) to increasing demand for berths for recreational craft. Located in the old urban center of Seixal and next to the Seixal Bay, with a great view over Lisbon, it is one of the places with the greatest potential to host also a hotel unit – Hotel Largo dos Restauradores. This project will constitute a tourist destination of quality and differentiator in the municipalities of the left bank of the Tagus, benefiting from a deep connection to the Bay of Seixal, its historical and cultural heritage, traditional boats and nautical activities in general.
There is also the project of the Eco Resort of Seixal …
The Municipality of Seixal is developing a detailed plan with the owners of the Ponta dos Corvos in order to realize a differentiating tourist project in an area of great natural wealth, inserted in the National Ecological Reserve Area, between Bahia of Seixal and the Tagus. It is a restinga with 2.5 kilometers of extension, with a beach, that will enable a tourism related to nature and the preservation of the environment, with sustainable construction. Of unusual natural richness and close proximity to still fairly intact ecosystems, it exerts an enormous attraction on the inhabitants of the surrounding urban areas. It obtained, in 2013, the classification of bathing water, the first assignment in the Tagus estuary. This has led to a strong increase in demand for this place as a leisure area, especially in the summer season.
But what will be the characteristics of this project?
The project to be implemented will have very specific characteristics for environmental sustainability, taking into account the relevance of the natural values in presence. The area to be built will respect all administrative easements and restrictions of public utility, and all structures should be as non-intrusive as possible, so at this stage of initial development we can only move forward with an estimated investment of around 20 million euros . The implementation of a project of this nature, taking into account all procedures of a legal / urban nature, could be around four years.
There are also projects for Amora …
There is the Amora Hotel and Marina. It is an innovative project, next to the Stadium of Medideira, which will be requalified through an intervention that will transform it into the Municipal Stadium of Medideira. As a complementary product, there will be a hotel unit and a pleasure port that will allow the arrival of the boats by sea.
The construction of this hotel can be modular and evolutionary. But it is expected that capacity will always exceed 200 rooms. There is also the possibility of partitioning the hotel into three distinct parts: normal hotel with training center; aparthotel; residency or assisted health. This project is entirely open to the adaptations that best meet the expectations and strategic choices of the investors who decide to invest in it. It will have to be developed at the licensing and later execution level, but all the constructive guidelines are outlined following the start of construction of the stadium as of May 2019. The preliminary study of the Amora marina has six fingers, each of which will allow a few tens of docks.
In what way can it be proven that the Seixal municipality is being increasingly sought by national and international investors?
The municipality of Seixal has a geostrategic location of great relevance in the Setúbal peninsula and in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, constituting a territory with a high potential for attracting investment, setting up companies and setting up poles that aggregate economic and social development dynamics.
Mainly, in the last two years, we have seen a great development, both in the recovery of old buildings for housing, and in the level of new establishments of catering and local accommodation.
We receive daily visits from investors, Portuguese and foreigners of different nationalities, French, Dutch, Germans, Israelites, Chinese, Brazilians, among others, who want to know about the great structuring projects in progress in the municipality. The municipality has been working to raise awareness of the potential of the municipality in and out of doors, marking its presence in several real estate halls, such as Paris, Lisbon and Cannes, in order to publicize the projects and attract investments that will benefit the municipality and the population. The potential and the interest that has been aroused in national and international economic agents such as Spanish, French and Chinese groups has been evident. An example and fruit of our projection work, contacts were established that will make possible the installation in the county, in the short stretch, of a large multinational in the area of health sciences, with an investment of 200 million euros and the creation of more than 200 direct jobs.
Who is the investor and what are the deadlines for achieving this project?
The start of the investment on the ground is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, but I can not go into more details.