By CATHY MORRIS
Investment is pouring into the Algarve, which is encouraging news at a time when many business owners in the region are worried that trade has fallen.
There are currently 15 approved PIN projects, or Projects of National Importance, in the region representing a total investment of 2,500 million euros.
Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira plans to invest around 220 million euros to develop a resort in the municipality of Lagoa.
The Benagil Resort, an initiative of Inland which is operated by the Benfica boss, would include an international brand hotel, for which negotiations are already in place.
The resort will have 1,279 beds in villas, townhouses and apartments set in 74 hectares of what the developers call ‘high quality countryside’ to the north of the beaches at Benagil and Marinha.
Negotiations are still ongoing to acquire the land and when the process is concluded the project will be presented to the Lagoa planning department. It is thought a project of this size would bring an estimated 400 jobs to the area.
Another ambitious project bringing investment to the Algarve is Quinta da Praia in Alvor. The latest development under Portuguese group HN represents an investment of 150 million euros. Aimed at people looking to buy a second home for investment or for holiday use may seem difficult given the current economic climate, but this luxury resort is described as the biggest hotel investment in the Portimão area since the 1960s and Portimão mayor, Manuel da Luz, admits the site is “one of the only remaining positions available on the coast”.
CEO of the HN group, Rakesh Kanabar, is confident that Quinta da Praia will attract serious investors from the UK and Ireland, as well as Germany, Holland, Spain and Sweden.
He said: “This project represents the entrance to a new area of business and as so, it will serve to showcase the group in the face of our competitors.”
This will be the company’s first development in the Algarve and includes a five star hotel, villas, apartments and luxury townhouses, plus a spa and health club among other leisure facilities.
The Dutch group which secured the land for a sports and property development in Western Algarve, with an investment value of 80 million euros, will now go ahead even though Sven Goran Eriksson has pulled out of the project.
The Swede was involved in plans at an earlier stage but the main principles of the PIN, or Project of National Importance, were not greatly altered.
Now the project has been reformulated and is to go ahead at Corte do Bispo in Bensafrim, Lagos.
One PIN in the heart of the region’s prestigious Golden Triangle is the eagerly anticipated six star hotel, Conrad Palace in Quinta do Lago with an investment of almost 90 million euros.
It is due for completion by the end of 2009.