A guide to serviced offices and office space to rent in Fortaleza as well as general information that may be useful if you are considering renting office space in the city.
History & Geography
Fortaleza is the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceara, and with a population of approximately 2.5 million is one of the largest cities in Brazil. Located in the northeast of the country, on the Atlantic Ocean, Fortaleza is surrounded by outlying suburbs interspersed with mangrove and mango trees. The region around Fortaleza was discovered by Spanish explorer Vicente Pinzon in 1500, but it wasn’t until 1603 that Europeans settled in the area. In this year the Portuguese constructed the fort of Sao Tiago, around which a sizable settlement grew up. Later the area was occupied by the Dutch, before reverting back into Portuguese hands. In 1799 the province of Ceara was created and Fortaleza was made the capital. Brazil became independent in 1822 and by 1889 had been made a republic. Eventually a profitable cotton industry grew up around Fortaleza and by the 19th century the city had been widely urbanized and had a sizable infrastructure. In the middle of the 19th century especially Fortaleza prospered and grew. In 1884 slavery was abolished in Brazil resulting in all the slaves in Fortaleza gaining their freedom. During the 19th century the population of the city grew significantly, boosted by massive migration from rural areas. In 1954 Fortaleza established its first university and started to become widely industrialized. As Fortaleza grew it incorporated several surrounding towns and suburbs, including Maracanau. In the 1980s Fortaleza became the most populated city in northeastern Brazil, outstripping its local rival Recife. In 1985 Fortaleza elected its first woman mayor, Maria Luiza Fontenele who represented the Worker’s Party. As the 20th century closed Fortaleza constructed and refurbished much of its city centre, including the city hall, several major avenues, and cultural centres. During this time the city also became one of the primary tourist destinations in that area of Brazil.
The economy of Fortaleza is fairly diversified and strong, relying on a variety of service industries to bring prosperity to the city. Fortaleza is a major centre of commerce in the region as well as being a rising tourism attraction. Of late the city has become a popular destination for trade fairs and other international shows due to the amount of spaces it has available. In particular the city benefits from the Events Centre of Ceara which was opened in 2012 and is one of the most hi-tech convention centres in the country. The city also benefits from a wide variety of top class hotels as well as business centres and other facilities. Fortaleza also has a large retail industry which helps significantly to bolster the city’s economy. Most of this industry is centred on the Avenida Monsenhor Tabosa. Some of the largest malls in the city include Iguatemi, Aldeota, Via Sul, and Del Paseo. Fortaleza also has a significant education sector and a fairly high population of students. There are also a large amount of research institutes based in the city which further attract high qualified employees and add to the economy.
Tourism & Culture
Fortaleza has become a major tourism destination in recent years. Most of the visitors to the city are from the rest of Brazil, though there is some international tourism as well. Fortaleza is especially famous for its nightlife, especially its dancing and music. Local music is called Forro and there are a wide variety of clubs and discos which play it long into the night. Of late Fortaleza a wide variety of restaurants have been opened in Fortaleza which are gaining renown throughout Brazil. Much of the city’s activities are focused on the beachfront promenade, the Beira Mar. Roller hockey and volleyball are especially popular. Most tourists to the city also spend a lot of time at one of its famous beaches. Among these Iracema is the most popular and is ringed with nightclubs and bars. Other well-visited beaches are Meireles, Mucuripe, and Praia do Futuro. Surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding are all popular sports in Fortaleza. Also popular is the Beach Park, a large aquatic park which features numerous restaurants, hotels, and adventure rides. Fortaleza has numerous five star hotels, though not all of them are of international standard. Most of them however are of high quality and have reasonable rates.
Fortaleza is served by the Fortaleza International Airport – Pinto Martins. The airport is located approximately four miles south of the centre of the town and serves destinations in South America, North America, and Europe. The city itself has an extensive bus system which is well used by the residents, however many roads in the city are of notoriously poor quality. Fortaleza is linked to three surrounding cities by its train, however there is currently no train which links the city to closer destinations. An underground is currently being constructed, however the completion date is still unclear.
Like many major cities in Brazil Fortaleza suffers from a lack of sufficient Grade A office space. While new supply is set to hit the market soon, much of it will not be in areas where the need is greatest. High end suburbs like Aldeota suffer the most from this lack of space. Vacancy rates in the city remain fairly low with the market strongly favouring landlords. With Brazil’s economy growing strongly in the wake of the financial crisis demand is only likely to grow in Fortaleza. Forecasters have predicted that this could lead to a rise in rental rates.