Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2015 - Page 15

Pasila, located just a couple of kilometres north from downtown Helsinki, is already a tremendous traffic hub: this is where all the trains stop, and buses and trams swoop by the station non-stop. Still, the surrounding area has not lived up to its full potential and is ripe for development, opening as much as three city blocks for new ideas and energy, By the turn of the decade, YIT aims to turn Tripla District into “Helsinki’s second city centre”. The versatile urban complex will feature offices, a shopping centre, apartments, hotels and the Helsinki metropolitan area’s new-and-improved public transport hub, says Tapio Salo, Senior Project Director of Tripla. “We recognise that we have been entrusted with a unique location in the entire country and want to create a hallmark district for Helsinki,” Salo lays down the game plan. Smooth Sailing Tripla District will be completed by 2021 and will encompass the area around the current Central Pasila station. It will link both East and West Pasila and the planned highrises on its south side to the new residential area on its north side. Salo reports that the process is well underway: “When everything goes well, we will have an authorised zoning plan in March 2015,” he says, adding that the planning effort is actually a bit ahead of schedule at the moment. He credits this to the City of Helsinki which is committed to realising Tripla District in a big way: “We have great collaboration with the City and are very motivated to keep going forward,” Salo says. The next stop after a legit zoning plan is to apply for a building permit before summer – and then it’s on to the actual construction. “We want to start construction in the autumn,” says Salo. Big on Connectivity Both Juha Kostiainen and Tapio Salo are of the opinion that the Tripla District will bring about connectivity which will be unparalleled in the whole country. As a consequence, the new Pasila station will be the busiest railway station in the land. At the same time, the new Ring Rail Line will connect Tripla and Pasila to the Helsinki Airport. The City Rail Loop, once completed, will connect Pasila, downtown Helsinki, Hakaniemi and Töölö. And if Hel- sinki should ever build a second metro line – running north-south – a reservation has already been made to build a metro station here. Salo points out that using public transport as an anchor for various functions is a strong trend in Europe and should be a winner here, too: “Linking trains, trams and buses in a new way to create a true traffic hub for the metropolitan area is what we want to do – and make it as convenient as possible for the citizens,” Salo says. Commercial Edge As it turns out, the very same citizens are consumers, too. With this in mind, YIT is launching ‘Mall of Tripla’ which promises to lead the way into a new era of retail. Comprising almost 85,000 square metres of commercial space, Mall of Tripla will connect physical and virtual stores, bringing sellers and buyers together. Kostiainen and Salo believe th