Jose Botelho MD Vanguard Properties

Coffee with the connoisseur and development kind of Portugal

Here is a proposition. Walkthrough any international city treating every building like a canvas of historic culture and you will quickly realise the relationship and importance of globalisation, architectural charm and of course, the direct influence it has on real estate values. The growing reverse trend in Europe is that space, greenery and curb appeal sells more than sardine-living. Those initiated with real estate purchasing in Europe have always known that smart money is invested in real estate with soul; assets that have the ability to captivate not only individual buyers, but build communities and become lasting legacies of a city’s culture and of course offer safety. London’s Mayfair being a prime example. That is why, when we were recommended by locals and leading business personalities alike to meet with Jose Cardoso Botelho and his team, it was worth the eye-watering 6am start! Jose is MD of Portugal’s premium and established development house Vanguard Properties, who along with its founder Claude Berda, are now the key players in real estate investments and development in the country. Their success came prior to Portugal in Switzerland, where at the forefront of the Swiss real estate revolution, they developed The Quartier de l’Etang (Geneva), which is the largest private development of the Swiss Confederation (over 250.000 sqm site spread over 12 hectares of land). Knowing this and the fact that in under 5 years they have over €700million in active developments across the country and have become the trusted partner for international buyers, made this conversation one of particular importance. The fact is Jose walks the talk in regards to successful real estate investments and developments, unlike many that we met that were trying to hedge the middle ground. I must admit I was excited to meet with the development king of Portugal, especially considering the love affair that we have as a community for real estate. Alongside his centrally located offices and waiting room filled with tennis trophies of local events the group have sponsored, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted personally by the man himself. At first glance you will realise that Jose is both humble and a true asset to Portugal. Not only has he been credited with providing Portugal with revolutionary real estate propositions, but he is genuinely a man of the arts and has a notoriously quick mind for numbers.
Jose explains to me how the architecture of Lisbon has progressed over time and like any city worth its weight in gold, it has assimilated the many influences that came as a result of its global discourse with other regions of the world. Realizing this, he decided to make the smart move and develop buildings that were more in keeping with the cultural love affair of the regions, rather than the white elephant piece which would lack future appeal. It was from here that the concept of Castilho 203 and A’Tower came about he tells me reassuringly.

The Developments: Castilho 203– (www.castilho203. pt/) is 1 of 18 key developments by the group, and is a true sophistication in architecture, with direct emphasis being placed on service and added value living standards. This, alongside its enthralling designs that are complimenting of the ocean vibe of its nearby surroundings, ensures its place at the top of all reputable brokers’ books. The development I am told, pays homage to the great Portuguese artist José Pedro Croft, with his hand-carved sculpture gracing its open lobby.
A’Tower ( is the other art inspired development, which for its opening had the entire façade of the stunning development covered in original art. It now houses a permanent art feature that undoubtedly and sympathetically enhances the surrounding area, whilst uplifting residence experience.
Infinity – Living Luxury A truly unique residential experience in prime Lisbon. Welcome to a unique experience in prime Lisbon, an icon of Portugal’s skyline boasting 26 impressively curated floors. The entire development is bathed in detailed sophistication, with sensually stimulating and harmonious views across the capital with luxurious living and amenities that are typically reserved for 6* hotel living. The development is an architectural l masterclass and will be launched in September 2019. Weblink
What strikes me the most is that every development by Vanguard has been carefully picked with personal touches ensuring the right balance between communal elegant living and the vibrancy of luxury that you have come to expect from the team. From master developments such as the Muda Reserve ( which has a unique feel of rural villa setting, through to the Bayline ( placed in the heart of the Algarve – The California of Europe. Each development builds upon the cornerstone of development success with value proposed living superiority. However it’s not just luxurious goose feather filled pillows and extravagant design that should capture your attention. Jose has seen a surge in people from India and the Global Indian community actively purchasing properties within his developments and he puts it down to both the product offering and safety, coupled with the rate of return that can be achieved. My personal bet would be that key developers such as Vanguard will hold the key to Portugal’s real estate future and would offer a safer bet for the Global Indian community than many others who have tried to emulate Vanguard’s success.

"Our Indian clients are highly sophisticated when it comes to property purchases. They know what they are looking for and want the reassurance of experience”      

Jose Botelho Managing Director of Portugal's leading real estate developer discusses the rise of opportunities for Global Indians in Lisbon


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