What is the focus of your activity, and what are the leading projects you are currently working on?
The focus of Avenue’s activity is the real estate development, acting mainly in residential and offices sector, in Lisbon and in Porto, that has become a new and appealing market. Currently, we are developing approximately 70,000sqm, in both cities. In the beginning of our activity, we were focused on the redevelopment of historical buildings. In 2017, we decided to increase our activity in the offices sector due to a lack of demand and to the scarcity of good office spaces. That's why we have developed Exeo, our flagship in terms of upscaling. EXEO Office Campus has a strategic and central position on the eastern shore of the Lisbon. It has state-of-the-art facilities with a contemporary design including leisure and retail spaces, restaurants, and green areas. Inspired by the concept of well-being and flexibility, the three buildings, Aura, Lumnia and Echo, reflect these themes. We have completed the first and largest building, Lumnia. Which is just pending of the use permit issuance, expecting to complete the leasing by the end of this year. The other two buildings, Echo, and Aura are under construction but were already sold to BNP Paribas, in April 2022.
How many projects do you have today in residential and how many in corporate?
We have completed seven residential developments between 2015 and 2020, and all are 100% sold. And as I pointed out, Lumnia was completed a few months ago. Currently, under construction, we have five developments: three in Lisbon (two office developments and one residential) and two in Porto (both residential).
How do you shape your competitive advantage in such a small and dynamic market?
There are approximately 20 relevant players in the market. We think that the competition has been stable over the last years. Since the beginning, we always wanted to focus on demand. When we started in 2015, we noticed interest from the local clients but also a lot of potential in international clients in the high-end residential segment and in city center locations. That is the reason why we developed our activity mainly in the premium residential segment. At that point, we decided to invest in Porto as well, because there was less competition in a context where new demand is increasing from international and local buyers and this market turned out to reveal better yields from the client’s investment perspective. At the same time, we looked into the office segment. We acknowledged that we could anticipate demand by doing excellent quality developments. We also invested in retail, although it is a complimentary activity, as our main strategic focus is on residential and offices. The future? Well, it is fine tuning to meet the demand. We are now working on the following stage, which is to have residential offer to lease and to sell focusing more on the local demand and less dependent on the international market.
Limiting and containing the environmental impact is turning into a priority for every business. How do you apply to your projects?
Sustainability is a pivotal aspect of our approach to the way we think and implement new projects. We need to be sustainable in the way we build. To achieve that sustainability and, furthermore neutrality, it is critical to have reliable suppliers, compensating every single step of the construction process. We make sure that the buildings that we create will be efficient not only during the construction process, but also when in operation. Exeo is a good example of that approach. We worked hard on the concept of the building, and we considered all the details. The architecture of the buildings was designed to benefit from the sun’s exposure and to collect rainwater, which is then recycled to irrigate the gardens, just to mention some of the sustainable measures that were implemented.
What are your main objectives for 2022?
In 2022, we intend to continue the developments in progress and reinforce our commitment with additional investment in new opportunities in both residential and offices. Alternative segments can also be considered. Sustainability will be a priority in the agenda for this year and for the future. In Exeo, we have achieved 2/3 of our sales goal, with the sale of two of the three buildings of the office campus and expect achieving total completion in the commercial aspect until the end of the year. On top of that, we are working on the projects under licensing, so we can ensure its launch to the market during the current year in which we intend to sell around 200 units.