A Belgian group “specialising in retail parks” has taken over the plot of land where the Portimão Retail Park was located before it mysteriously burned down in 2012, reports Correio da Manhã tabloid.
A Portimão council source cited by CM said that the Mitiska REIM group is carrying out market studies to “decide what kind of activity it will develop at the site” and has already met with the council to discuss its plans.
Mitiska REIM is described on its own website as “Europe’s leading specialist investor in retail parks and convenience centres, offering convenient shopping, ample free parking and affordable infrastructure”.
The last known owner of the land was American real estate investment group Blackstone.
The site has been empty ever since a violent fire destroyed the Portimão Retail Park on September 23, 2012. The shopping complex had opened in 2006 in the area of Chão das Donas near the EN125 road and was one of the town’s main shopping attractions before it was consumed by a fire that broke out when the Retail Park was closed. Seven stores were destroyed.
The flames were battled by over 150 firefighters from all over the Algarve. Some found the blaze to be suspicious, but a PJ police investigation ruled out the possibility of criminal activity.
It was only two years later that the wreckage started to be cleared away after neighbours started complaining of foul smells and rats as well as the eyesore that the site had become.
Photo: A picture of the Retail Park, take in September 2012, after it was consumed by flames
Photo by: OPEN MEDIA GROUP