Key players discuss office market predictions at GRI Club Meeting in Portugal

February 24, 2022Real Estate

GRI Members, among investors, developers and advisors, got together in Lisbon in the beginning of the month, to discuss opportunities and share their points of view on what makes sense for future demand, investment, location, and pricing in the office real estate market and later had a tour at the K-TOWER Lisbon Business Centre site.

Krest Real Estate Investments in Portugal office market

During GRI’s Portugal Office Market View 2022, the host of the event and GRI club member, Claude Kandiyoti, CEO at Krest Real Estate Investments, was asked what made him take an interest in the portuguese market, to what he stated: it was “pure opportunism”.
Kandiyoti told the GRI that he started investing in the market during the pandemic when he realised he had the opportunity to buy land that nobody was interested in at that moment, but now has become great in value. The project in question is Moxy Lisboa Oriente, a 224 key hotel opened in July 2021 and where the Club Meeting in question took place. 
The hotel is part of a bigger concept called the KProject which also entails the KTower: a 20.000 square feet office building facing the Gare do Oriente, the main train station of Lisbon, designed by Santiago Calatrava and located at Parque das Nações, an abandoned industrial zone that was revitalised to host the Expo 98. 
With the inauguration scheduled for November 2022, the K-Tower is adjacent to the Moxy Hotel and today, it is 100% pre-let to Critical Techworks and Spaces. It was the biggest lease contract for the occupation of offices on the Portuguese market in 2021. After the event, all the Club Meeting participants were able to take a tour with the host to the K-Tower construction site.

Other investments and interests in the Portugal office market 

Krest is also responsible for developing a new neighbourhood in Lisbon, which Kandiyoti believes it’s going to be “the largest private real estate project in Portugal”, and as a small company, that specialises in Belgium and Portuguese markets, they are very comfortable with the amount of assets they have in their portfolio right now and are not actively looking to invest anywhere else. 
But, if the opportunity presents itself, as the market is becoming ”more professionalised and more competitive”, Kandiyoti intends to keep focusing on offices and get into the affordable rents market.

Why invest in the office market in Portugal?

Gilles Emond, head of real estate at Ageas Portugal and one of the co-chairs of the event was also heard by the GRI news staff. During his interview, he spoke about the advantages of participating in such a diverse meeting with players from different backgrounds: investors, asset managers, developers and how it provides an accurate feel of the market.
Emond goes on to explain the reasoning behind his investments in Portugal, particularly the offices sector, where there are plenty of opportunities because of the lack of supply and because this is a product that is recognized internationally. Investments in office assets were 50% of transactions last year, “so you get liquidity, which is also a very important topic for us, as institutional investors”.
When asked about new projects, assets and aspirations for the near future, he confirms Portugal is the focus and mentions pension funds and long term lease assets such as nursing homes or student housing.
GRI Club Meetings are exclusive events for members only, where market leaders get together regularly to participate in activities designed specifically to meet their demands in an informal and intimate environment, ideal for creating and deepening productive and lasting business relationships. If you want to be a part of our unique club, apply for a membership and access the largest real estate and infrastructure community.
By Roberta Gomes