Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2014 - Page 49

SRV is looking to upgrade the concept of a modern shopping centre – just in time for Finland’s centennial celebration in 2017. The new REDI Shopping Centre is the company’s most ambitious shopping centre project to date – with over 60,000 square metres of retail space, it promises to be almost two times bigger than the shopping centre Kamppi, SRV’s previous success story in the field. P ia Svensk, Director of Retail Concepts for SRV, says that REDI will be something special. She is of the opinion that the very best shopping centre in Helsinki might not have been built yet and is confident that REDI will be a contender for that top spot. The reason for this optimism is simply that the location with superb connections is great and SRV has done its homework very well indeed and has spent years in preparation to take on this challenge. “As a consequence, REDI will be a dynamic destination offering retail and leisure, unique merchandising mixes, emotion, and entertainment attractions. It will also be a great place to meet other people and have a good time,” she says. tor, Svensk has plenty of experience from communicating with demanding customers on an emotional level. Svensk leads the development and design of the retail concepts as well as the renting of retail premises in REDI – and couldn’t be more excited about her job: “Introducing a whole new city district to the Helsinki inner-city area is something that doesn’t happen every day – and REDI will be the driving force of that new community.” What’s more, REDI will also bring about a new age of high-rise towers in the metropolitan area – with as many as eight towers reaching for the sky. Vertical City This octet of towers will be built around the Itäväylä highway and the Kalasatama metro station. All and all, there will be six residential towers, one office tower and one hotel tower, with the highest of the pack rising up to 126 metres. Consequently, Itäväylä and the metro will be covered with an expansive green deck, allowing for smooth traffic flow. “This project offers great opportunities and it will, among other things, change the silhouette of the entire city,” she says, discussing the impact of the high-rise buildings. Markus Laine, Director of Real Estate Transactions and Investors for SRV, observes that SRV is now engaging in highrise construction on a scale that is unprecedented in Finland. This type of construc- tion simply hasn’t been done yet – by anyone, he points out. While REDI is already drawing comparisons to Kamppi – hailed as a success story by also international experts – Laine comments that the logistical challenge at Kamppi was bigger, since the construction took place right in the downtown area. This time around, SRV is confident that there won’t be traffic jams to contend with. Even Flow Also, as Kamppi is a logistics hub with thousands of people simply passing through the centre, the action concentrates largely on the ground levels. Going up, there are less people. Kalasatama will be built differently and three/four floors of the shopping centre will have equal status with regards to people flow. To make sure of this, each level has been dedicated to a certain mode of traffic: starting from the bottom, there is a level reserved for car parking, one level for buses, trams and pedestrians and one for the metro and eastern highway bus traffic. “As many as 100,000 cars will drive through here every day,” Laine says, adding that the metro link-up is very well designed, too: the metro line actually goes through the shopping centre, so when you get out of the metro, you are already right there, at the core of the shopping centre. But what kinds of goods and services will REDI entail, then? According to the Closer to the Heart Benchmarking of international success stories has yielded insights into such issues as customer flow and guidance techniques, but the most important lesson is, in fact, a matter of the heart. Pia Svensk believes that what is needed more to the Finnish shopping centres at the moment is emotion – many shopping centres come off as sterile places of business, with no real feel to them at all. She talks of “cold space” which should be brought to life through various means. She points out that in the best international shopping centres, when you go in, you immediately feel immersed in colour, sound and scent. “You are being whisked away into a different world – and that’s where the experience lies,” she says, adding that instead of a “shopping centre” it is something akin to “experience centre” that SRV is aiming to accomplish in Kalasatama. Destination REDI What does all this mean in practice? According to SRV, REDI will be “an Authentic Lifestyle Destination”. REDI will be an urban landmark welcoming and attracting people. “REDI will represent the celebration, enjoyment and easiness of life,” defines Svensk. As a former Department Store DirecNordicum 47