The oldest shopping center in Portugal, Apolo 70, closed its doors indefinitely this Saturday due to a court order, executed this afternoon by four PSP agents, according to the Lusa agency at the site.
According to a PSP source, the space is closed for an indefinite period, following a legal dispute between the concessionary company of the space, the Company Proprietary of Various Establishments, COPEVE, and the owner of the building where the shopping center is installed.
One of the employees of one of the stores told the Lusa agency that only the pharmacy will remain open with services abroad, with the remaining commercial spaces being closed and tenants unable to access them.
This afternoon, the movement of pharmacy employees was visible to remove boxes of medicines. The Lusa agency tried to enter the shopping center, but the enforcement agent did not authorize nor was available to talk about this case, but managed to speak with an employee of one of the stores, who was surprised, not by the eviction, but by the lack of notice from COPEVE.
“It has been known for many years that one day this would happen. We were not expecting it to happen overnight. We were not alerted by the owner of the mall,” Filomena Cerqueira told Lusa, adding that only three stores were not leased.
“As far as we know, COPEVE hasn’t paid the rent for the space for a long time, although we continue to pay them. We also know that the landlady never wanted to take the space, as she doesn’t receive the rent money, and that she wanted it sell,” he added.
According to this official, she only learned of the eviction action today, after being notified by the enforcement agent when she arrived at the scene.
“All the stores were photographed, individually sealed. We received a document to pick up the material on the next 10th (Saturday),” he said.
With an initial area of three thousand square meters and opened in 1971, Apolo 70 is one of Lisbon’s ex-libris and was the first shopping center in the country.
In recent years, it has remained a commercial center in the area, despite its proximity to other more modern shopping centers.