After much deliberation on their wish list and priorities, Massi and Jerry began their search which lasted almost two years and ended in Rua Da Cedofeita 334, an early 19th century building that was first a textile factory and then an electrical workshop.
From the beginning, THE project wAS TO keep the building as a large guesthouse or small hotel and that the building they were looking for needed to have certain essential characteristics: to be central, historic, have a terrace and be rich in original features.
“The first time we entered Rua Da Cedofeita 334 we were not particularly overwhelmed.
It was probably the less traditional façade and less obviously attractive azulejos, combined with a day of back-to-back property viewings that distracted us from the potential staring us in the face”. The second time, however, we had a eureka moment and were enlightened. It takes an active imagination to see certain hidden beauty and realise opportunity. Thankfully we had the help of Sara Nataria to help us open our eyes and realise that this building ticked all of the boxes on our wish list.
From the Main Building to the Workshop to the terrace to the commercial store at the front, our minds started racing about the possibilities. The location seemed perfect to us. Rua da Cedofeita is a street where you can still breathe an authentic Portuguese air, and only steps away from the core of the city’s tourist area".
The negotiation for the purchase of the property concluded in May 2019. Massi and Jerry immediately started searching for local architects in Porto, to ensure that they knew the city and understood the wider landscape and so that their project could proceed in a way which respected its environment. They bought the property at a time when Porto was experiencing a real estate boom and when it would have been easy to make a very different choice:
“In recent years, a lot of buildings have been converted into small apartments or identikit guesthouses. It would have been an easy path for us to follow too, but we were not interested in a short-term HIGH-REturn investment by dividing one big beautiful house into a number of small studios. We had a clear vision of our project and that involved a longer term relationship between us and the city” says Massi.
“We could have doubled our investment by converting the property into apartments, but we wanted to save the building, bring the building back to life in our own way while respecting what went before” explains Jerry. "An example? Under the previous renovation project, the original central dome would have been demolished to make more space. We were not prepared to let that happen and instead we plan to build around it”.
It is hoped that with the right mix of hard work and good luck, Casa Cedo can open its doors in the next two years.