Saudi MEFIC and British Round Hill just announced the acquisition of a plot with 7.8 ha in Porto, a new urban regeneration project, in which they are going to invest €100M.

This new joint venture, in Paranhos, close to Asprela university campus, is expected to have 1,200 student flats and 200 residential apartments, a hotel, shops, office space and parking, states the newspaper Negócios. It shall be included in Porto Innovation District, an initiative from Porto City Hall and its Universities, Business School, Hospital, Institutes and Research centers, with the aim of promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and investment in Porto.

Michael Bickford, CEO of Round Hill, explains that «Round Hill has been studying the Portuguese market for several years and we are truly glad with this plot acquisition for regeneration and for mixed use». This announcement was made at a time when Portugal «benefits from positive macroeconomic trends, strong indicators in supply/demand of residence segment for students, hotels, residential property and a positive investment environment».

Ibrahim A. Al Hedaithy, managing director of MEFIC, advanced that Portugal «shares our values of integrity and professionalism», and company officials are «very happy» for «the first MEFIC’ investment outside Saudi Arabia to be in Portugal». The company plans to be part «of the growth of this city as an investment destination at European level».

Cushman & Wakefield acted in this transaction representing the seller, who has not been identified. Ana Gomes, Associate and responsible for all issues regarding the industrial and land department at C&W, says that «this transaction is one of the greatest from the last years in Porto, and will bring a new life to an old industrial zone. But, above all, this ambitious project is going to create new and better conditions to welcome all kind of people increasingly seeking this city to study, work and visit. It’s another outstanding example of how it can be possible to transform old and obsolete spaces into new urban infrastructures, for the benefit of cities and its residents and visitors».

The construction works shall start this summer and shall last 4 to 5 years.