Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 18

YIT Mall of Tripla Little Manhattan 4 floor. “But the entire concept here rises from the unbeatable location: we are building the best possible shopping centre for this particular location and for this demographic.” Forget Downtown? Admittedly, since the Mall of Tripla is organically located on the top of the prime artery in the land, the expectations run very high indeed. Will Tripla have the power to eclipse even the downtown Helsinki in terms of attraction? – Only time will tell, but Central Pasila certainly seems like a real contender in the race. It looks more than likely that during the coming years, Pasila will emerge as “the second city centre” for Helsinki – and an even a more important transportation hub, since the neighbourhood is expected to double its resident and job numbers by 2040. Following on the heels of the Mall of Tripla, there will be office space, apartments and a hotel. “The hotel is the next thing on our list. In 2016, we will begin talking with operators about the realisation of the hotel,” reveals 16 Nordicum Martikainen. “With regards to offices, the area can feature as much as 50,000 square metres of office premises.” There’s room for both corporate headquarters and ultra-modern business parks here. Going Up Over-all, the construction project also covers the Pasila station and the adjacent public transport terminal. The City of Helsinki has designated the former railway yard to the north of Tripla for residential blocks, which will have apartments for 3,000 residents. Named the Railyard Quarters, the residential area is rooted on modern, environmental solutions. The City is eager to add also high-rise buildings into the mix: on the southern side of the Mall of Tripla, there could be several towers with serious verticality. Retooling old railyards for commercial use can be tricky, but Salo and Martikainen say that the project has been able to overcome all obstacles so far: the zoning procedures and building permits have been cleared in schedule (or faster, even) and the investor alliance is now in place – with tenants jumping to climb onboard. “I would say that from commercial and legal viewpoint we’ve dealt with the biggest challenges – what remains is the construction,” Martikainen says. Ready for the Challenge That part won’t be easy, Tapio Salo admits: “Looking at land construction, it’s among the most demanding sites in Finland, but we have our best people on the case and are confident that the result will be tremendous.” One issue that needs to be dealt with is building – in part – on top of the rails which continue to be active. Salo also credits the City of Helsinki which is committed to realising Tripla Centre in a big way. Great collaboration with the City – as well as the other local land owner, the state-owned Senate Properties – is key in a project of this magnitude. “We have been working together to make all this happen and are very motivated to keep going forward,” Salo says. O