Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 26

Run for the Border Still, Kokkinen and Louko feel that they are only half way into the project. The men are eager to extend the line further on west. According to plans, this would mean adding a stretch of seven kilometres to the line, all the way to municipal border. Along the way, five new metro stations will be realised: Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti. Conventional wisdom would decree that it makes sense to continue the project on-the-fly, since there is labour, expertise and equipment available. Having to stop now and pick up the pieces, say, five years from now, would be costly. Olavi Louko says that the momentum should be preserved: “We want to keep going, and we’re talking with the Ministry of Transport to see, if we can go all the way,” says Louko. The City of Espoo is asking for the State to pay 30 % of the investment, but not right away. The government money should come in around 2017–2018. “Instead of a handout, we are simply asking for a green light, a commitment from the State.” The Government has outlined that in infrastructure projects of this scope, the State will participate only after “case-by-case” deliberation. is underdeveloped due to wastewater treatment activities and other secondary use of the area. Now, as the wastewater treatment plant is shifting operations elsewhere, there will suddenly be more room for development – in many fronts. The Ultimate Shoreline Olavi Louko, speaking in behalf of the City, says that Finnoo is something really special. “It’s the very last significant seaside area open for development,” he says, adding that the City is committed to making this “last shore” truly great. Project Director Kimmo Leivo from the City of Espoo knows that he is in charge of a very important development effort: ultimately, Finnoo could accommodate as many as 17,000 residents “Presently, there are old industrial zones in Finnoo and a lot of vacant areas that are used for no specific purpose at all,” he says. “This means that we are able to do things very sustainably from day one; we can be very efficient in the implementation.” According to the plan, the northern part of Finnoo will be largely defined by the coming metro station and its surroundings. There are plans which allow high-rise construction by the metro station: the highest of these towers could reach 30 storeys. “Finnoo could feature as many as 10,000 apartments by 2040,” Leivo says, adding that most of the residential buildings would be ready by 2030. Go or No-Go? Marina Appeal In early December, it was reported that the deliberation will not be yielding any fruit just yet: the Minister of Traffic Merja Kyllönen is taking the issue to be decided by the entire Government. Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen’s Government will look at the extension proposal – as well as other major infra projects – in the spring. The building of the Finnoo-Kivenlahti line could have more far-reaching impact than just helping out commuters in West Espoo. For one, additional construction would give Helsinki time to get their plans for their own, eastern metro expansion ready. This means that after the bonus stretch west is up and running, the construction crews could head east and start work in east Helsinki. Under this scenario, there would be plenty of work for metro construction professionals in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region until 2030 – which, in turn, should make the situation attractive for also international players who don’t want to commit to short-term projects. Nevertheless, even if the Government wouldn’t look favourably upon Espoo’s request, Finnoo station can be added to the western end of the metroline without much difficulty. At present, this seaside neighbourhood is home to only few people, as it The new-and-improved Finnoo is also looking to fully explore its access to the sea in the south. Presently, there is already an active boat harbour – accommodating 1,100 boats, it is the largest of its kind in the metropolitan area – and the harbour concept will be fine-tuned, as well. “We are zoning a marina-type housing arrangement, a high-quality, vibrant area, with a fly-bridge cruise through channel surrounded by broadwalks with restaurants and cafés – and even an artificial island with condominiums. We will really make the Marina area into something which hasn’t been seen in Finland before.” The actual boat harbour could double its current boat capacity to nearly 2,000. Espoo Mayor Jukka Mäkelä has promised that the new Finnoo will become a “sustainable, green maritime city of international standard” for all Espoo inhabitants. The City is also most eager to promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic, as well as energy efficiency and carbon neutral practices. “We are inspecting a LEED or BREEAM certification for the area to make sure that we leave no stone unturned in our quest for a green city,” sa \