Erik de Vlieger, co-owner of Carvoeiro Branco and Carvoeiro Clube, during his long career has specialised in tackling urban projects in many cities and villages. In these projects, he has transformed inner city buildings and areas with the goal of adding value to society.

This businessman loves Portugal and wants to contribute to help the country. As a man of passion, he is transforming authentic ruins to improve the quality of the citizens through urban renewal and urban regeneration, which consists of re-developing buildings often being left behind in cities and villages.

“In beautiful Portugal sometimes my heart is bleeding when I see that nobody is doing anything with these places. Urban renewal is the clearing out of blighted areas in inner cities to create opportunities for medium class housing, businesses, and much more”, Erik told The Portugal News.

However, these projects “require courage from local councils to walk hand in hand with developers”. It's not easy, especially in times of a pandemic, but the outcome is there to be seen.

Next to the bus station in Lagoa, there is new building named Atrium Lagoa that before his intervention, it was an 11.000 sqm ruin for almost 10 years without any kind of building works planned. “It was a rotten tooth in the mouth of Lagoa which everybody said that they can do nothing about”. That’s why he decided to take a position and do something about it. And currently this building was transformed into well-designed flats and shops, where about 60 percent of the new buyers are Portuguese.

However, that’s not the only project he has. In Portimão Erik de Vlieger’s company has revitalised the former cluster of buildings known as the Mabor project at the Casa Inglesa square at the Zona Ribeirinha. Now he is focusing on the famous Feitoria and Clube União buildings in Portimão.

Looking to the future

In addition, he has already bought another ruin at the back of Atrium Lagoa, where they are planning to construct a new and modern building, which will be called Atrium Liberdade.

Furthermore, Carvoeiro Branco is studying new areas for future renewal investments, such as: Faro, Tavira, Caldas da Rainha, Coimbra and Setubal. “The joy of transforming dead buildings and ruins into something useful, gives us all a satisfactory feeling and I challenge more Câmara’s to work with me”.

Indeed, “it is also very nice to have a plot of land and build 40 new flats there for a tourist development, sell them and walk away, but it is not fun to see all these ruins in these beautiful Portuguese cities and do nothing about it”.

In addition, he wants to continue working to bring new life to these country towns! All from the headquarters of Carvoeiro Branco based in Lagoa. “Not alone, of course,” Erik said, but with a good team working with him.


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins