Santander finances new mixed-use development project in Portugal

The Social Hub (TSH) has reached an agreement for €48.75 million in financing from Santander in Portugal for a 26,600 sqm Porto development alongside Avenue.

TSH will offer a 13,467 sqm hotel and student accommodation property in the city centre, including 305 rooms, co-working spaces, restaurants and bars, meeting and event spaces, a gym and a rooftop swimming pool. Construction is underway with the opening targeted for Q1 2024.

Avenue will be responsible for the residential part of the development, spreading 11,000 sqm with 93 residential units, 16 retail units (3,560 sqm) and 445 parking spaces, with the opening targeted for Q2 2023.

The project targets a BREEAM “Very Good” in-use certification when completed.

The development will form the larger renovation of the D. João I square, creating new space for the local community to come together, including a public garden, and increase the availability of student housing in Porto.

The development is part of TSH’s growth strategy that will see it grow its presence to 50 hotels from 25 hotels under ownership today. The current pipeline of TSH in Portugal further includes a development in Lisbon, while TSH is also looking at additional opportunities in the market.

Earlier this year The Social Hub changed its name from The Student Hotel to refelct its changing priorities.

TSH was advised by Vieira de Almeida & Associados as borrowers’ counsel. Morais Leitão acted as lenders’ counsel.

What they said

Charlie MacGregor, founder and CEO of TSH, said: “We are very excited to announce that we have secured financing for the development of our Porto hotel. This location shows the viability of our hybrid-hospitality model, as together with Avenue’s residential development, it will really form a melting pot of different communities coming together: residents, students, long and short-stay visitors. The public-use garden will further support the revitalisation of the Praça do D. João I.”

Aniceto Viegas, CEO of Avenue, said: “It is always an important milestone in any development to secure the development financing. Such financing will allow to complete the construction of one of the most relevant redevelopments of Porto city centre, consolidating the renovation of the D. João I Square and the Sá da Bandeira street. Avenue is happy to contribute, with TSH, to bring more housing, retail, and facilities to the community.”

Miguel Silva Tomás, head of promotion to construction in the North of Portugal, Santander, said: “This is an extremely relevant project for the city of Porto, as it brings together several aspects of the renovation of the surrounding area, bringing different communities together. The work developed with TSH and Avenue has been a challenge, but the fact that they chose Santander as a partner in this strategic growth opportunity is very rewarding.”