Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2013 - Page 14

High Hopes Helsinki wants to go vertical – but which of the 50 high-rise projects are truly viable? After decades of existence close to the street level, the Daughter of the Baltic is seeking the high life. High-rise construction is the talk of the town all around the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, with authorities nodding approvingly. The critics’ camp is in an uproar, complaining that the city profile will be sacrificed to the corporate altar. With 50 tower projects in the works in Helsinki alone, one is right to ask: what’s going on? F irst of all, while the number of tentative projects is large (at least for a city of Helsinki’s size), it is likely that only a handful will ever materialise. The other thing, then, is that the key historic areas will remain off limits to construction – there will be no skyscrapers taking off from the Senate Square. The City has, however, given a green 12 Nordicum light for construction to seaside areas which were formerly housing port/industrial functions. As port operations have moved to the Eastern Vuosaari harbour, attractive waterfront areas are now open for development – and tower construction is a viable option, since it allows tight community structure. High-rise construction is a Central European trend which has been waiting for a long time to make its mark here. The former harbour areas – Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari – seem like perfect pilots for the City to go vertical. Kalasatama Goes Manhattan Located in eastern central Helsinki, Kalasatama centre is the single most significant