Lucios reinforces its hotel business mission and opens its first commercial areas | in Expresso
Lucios has entered the hotel development and its portfolio counts with six units.
The company has specialized in urban rehabilitation and then proceeded to hotel development. As of today, in the scope of a business diversification journey, Lucios takes a change in the exploitation of commercial areas via Mercado Municipal Beira-Rio, at the marginal road of Gaia. The opening is scheduled for September 12th.
This a two in one debut: concessions and commercial properties, with tourism in the background. This is a low risk operation (investment of €1,4 million euros and monthly rent of €2 thousand euros), made in a partnership with PEV Entertainment, the promoter of Festival Marés Vivas, and represents the new company philosophy of Lucios in a nutshell, focused on “diversifying and mastering every project stage, based on a turnkey logic”.
This is an example “because it combines building renovation with the focus on a tourism-oriented business”, said Filipe Azevedo, the representative of the third generation managing this family constructor. Mercado Beira-Rio “will benefit from the impressive touristic flow of the marginal road of Gaia”. Filipe Azevedo believes the strength and prosperity of tourism “will last for long”.
The market was decaying, presenting low occupancy rates with few fruit and vegetable stalls, when the City Hall opened a public tender for its renovation and exploitation. The Lucios consortium submitted its application and won the concession for a period of 30 years, among three candidates. With the Port Wine cellars nearby, the market will be managed under a shopping centre logic, creating at the riverside front a culture and leisure block with 47 areas distributed by two floors.
The concept is close to the model applied at Mercado do Bom Sucesso, in Porto, but benefits from the combination of new store owners with the traders who have resisted the old market’s decay. The offer is therefore varied, focused on “traditional Northern restaurants”, in crafts, wine and flavours – the 22 available areas were already occupied. They will be sharing the market with 11 already existing fresh food stalls – and there is also a butcher moving to the new market version. This is a “formula for success” that Lucios intends to repeat “if there are any other municipalities willing to do this”, said Filipe Azevedo.
Six own hotels
Specialized in rehabilitation, Lucios gained experience with works built in the historical centres of Lisbon and Porto for hotel business operators, before going into the business on its own by identifying opportunities and promoting new units. The hotels Intercontinental, Eurostar Heroísmo, NH Porto Batalha or the hostel Bluesock, all in Porto, are the proof of the mission of Lucios. The expansion of Hotel Carris and the building of a new unit near Praça do Marquês, are examples of ongoing works in Porto. In addition, Lucios is building two hotels for foreign investor in the capital of Mozambique.
Lucios’ debut as a developer was in 2016, by transforming an old theatre and dance school into The House Ribeira Hotel (56 rooms), whose management was then handed over to Sonae, under a long-term rental (30 years). The building could not be sold by its owner, Associação Balleteatro. Then, Lucios restored a Pombaline building in Downtown Lisbon, bringing the style of hotel AlmaLusa (28 rooms) to Lisbon. In both cases, Lucios operated in conjunction with investors “that had a similar business vision”. This is a model that “allows us to release resources, promote new projects and create more works for the constructor”, said Filipe Azevedo.
And Lucios is preparing to release four more projects. In Porto, the renovation of the old Pensão Avis at Praça da Batalha (95 rooms) is starting in September, as well as the transformation of an adjacent building to Praça Carlos Alberto (70 rooms). The rehabilitation of a third building at Rua do Bonjardim (83 rooms) starts in January 2018. The only construction from scratch is made in Lisbon, near Largo do Rato (102 rooms) – in which the participation of Lucios is 25%.
These businesses involve 40 million euros. Lucios believes more acquisitions are to be made this year in Lisbon or Porto and is already checking the historical centres of other cities. The temptation of entering the hotel management sector “is significant, considering the favourable margins of this business”, but for now Lucios has been able to resist.
From the residential standpoint, Lucios also shares project risk with its financial partners. Now under construction are the complexes Essenza with 25 apartments over Parque da Cidade do Porto (20 million euros) and the condominium of Foz with six dwellings (8 million euros).
MULTIPURPOSE ROSA MOTA
The consortium Lucio/PEV is involved in a second larger operation in the area of municipal concessions. In November, the constructor is starting the renovation works for the interior of Pavilhão Rosa Mota, which will transform this structure into a modern, multi-purpose and versatile arena in May 2018. This work will be made for 8.5 million euros. The aisle will be converted into a congress centre (4700 congressmen) and a space for sports competitions (5580 seats) with capacity for up to 8660 people.