Almada’s ‘Water City’ will be ‘biggest urban requalification project since Expo-98’

in World · 24-05-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

An urban renovation project for old shipyards on the south bank of the Tagus River is being termed ‘the largest requalification project since Expo-98’.

Dubbed ‘Water City’, the project aims to overhaul the Margueira area, a tip of Almada directly opposite downtown Lisbon, where the former Lisnave shipyards once operated.

The project was unveiled last Tuesday and represents the largest urban requalification intervention in Portugal since Expo-98, which saw Lisbon’s eastern portion develop into the most modern part of Portugal’s capital city.

The intention to renovate Margueira dates back many years and will now finally move forward with the sale of the land and concession of the marina and the river terminal to a private investor.

The state sales model for this asset envisages that the promoter, chosen by public tender, finances all infrastructures, namely the construction of two future facilities that will remain in the public domain - the marina and the river terminal - as well as connecting it to local transport links and utilities.

These obligations are set out in the Almada Nascente Urbanisation Plan (PUAN), approved in 2009, and should represent a cost close to one hundred million euros, which will ultimately transform Margueira into a brand new city.

According to newspaper Público, ‘Water City’ already has a dozen national and international investors who have formally expressed interest in the project.

Administrators for land management company Baía do Tejo told the newspaper the company believes that the real estate market is in “frank recovery and acceleration” following the financial crisis, and that the specific characteristics of Water City, such as it’s “excellent location”, make it an interesting asset for large groups with of international dimensions.

Baía do Tejo explained the company and the Government intend to launch the public tender by the end of next month (June 2019), after when the interested parties will have three months to submit proposals.

If market interest is confirmed and the deadlines are met, the Water City project could be handed over to a private developer still during the course of this year.

The details of the conditions under which the State intends to sell the rights, namely the price of the land, the terms of the two river concessions and the requirements placed on the developer, in terms, for example, of construction deadlines, will only be defined in specifications still being finalised by Baía do Tejo.

The promoters believe that the large-scale development will ultimately “strengthen Lisbon as a tourist and investment destination” and respond to the needs of housing and offices whose supply is lacking in the Portuguese capital.

Water City has planned a construction area of 630,000sqm and, in addition to housing stock, it is planned to comprise a hotel, a marina, a river-ferry passenger terminal, a museum and a congress centre, linked together by squares and canals, giving rise to a set of unique public spaces.


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