The Social Hub and Avenue secure €48.75m in financing from Santander Portugal for Porto mixed-use development

Amsterdam/Porto, 30 November 2022– 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.

Redevelopment of Praça de D. João I

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.

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, added: “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.”

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.

TSH’s distinctive hybrid hospitality model proved resilient during the pandemic as TSH was able to substantially increase room allocation towards students when leisure and corporate travel dramatically reduced, thereby achieving strong occupancy rates and remaining cash-positive. With the hotel and travel market rebounding strongly, TSH benefits from a strong summer activity while its student bookings for the 22/23 academic year already stand at record levels.

About AVENUE Real Estate 

AVENUE is a benchmark in the Portuguese real estate market in the development and management of residential and office projects in the prime zones of Lisbon and Oporto.

With a special focus on urban requalification and urban regeneration, it contributes to the recovery of the authenticity and dynamism of the cities, developing projects in iconic buildings and properties in privileged areas.

Its portfolio consists of thirteen assets representing an investment volume of 885,500 million euros distributed over a gross construction area of 220,800 sqm, of which 70,000 sqm are dedicated to the three office buildings, the EXEO Office Campus, under construction in Parque das Nações. LUMNIA, the largest building with 30,000 m2, was completed in December 2021. |

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About Santander Portugal

Santander Portugal is a benchmark bank in the Portuguese financial sector.  The  Bank's  mission  is  to help  people and  companies prosper, aiming  to be  the  best  digital, open  financial-services platform, acting  responsibly  and  conquering  the  permanent  trust  of employees,  clients,  shareholders,  and  society.  Santander is currently the largest privately-owned Bank in Portugal in terms of domestic lending volumes, having consistently delivered high levels of profitability underpinned by sound capital base and asset quality.

The Bank is adapting its operation to the new clients needs, investing in processes, digitalization and technology, to deliver the best service experience materialized in the expansion if its loyal customer base.

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About The Social Hub

The Social Hub hosts a diverse community where people come to learn, stay, work and play. The Social Hub’s leading hybrid hospitality concept is designed to welcome students, tourist, neighbours and entrepreneurs to create meaningful and fun experiences under one roof. From hotel facilities, student rooms and coworking spaces to auditoriums, gyms, event spaces and social initiative programmes. It’s a place where people can connect and learn from one another, a place to find and build a community, where connections grow, ideas spark and change happens. Whether a local, traveller, student or professional, The Social Hub connects guests with passionate people from all walks of life to meet, while sharing ideas and experiences. The Social Hub is on a journey to be as responsible and impactful as possible. With ‘social’ at the centre of its name, The Social Hub focuses on creating a better society and a fairer and greener world through its programming for the community and impact from business operations. Founded in 2012, The Social Hub, formerly known as The Student Hotel, is headquartered in Amsterdam and has more than 800 employees.

The Social Hub’s total locations amount to 23, with 16 properties open in Amsterdam City, Amsterdam West, Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Delft, Eindhoven, Florence, Groningen, Maastricht, Madrid, Paris, Rotterdam, The Hague, Toulouse and Vienna. Three new hubs will soon open in Glasgow, Porto and San Sebastian, with properties also opening in Florence Belfiore, Lisbon, Rome and Turin by 2025. With nearly 10,000 rooms across Europe, The Social Hub aims to offer unique experiences to its community of international guests and locals.

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