Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 24

Antti Kari represents the landowner of the Keski-Pasila area, the government-owned enterprise Senate Properties, and Niina Puumalainen is in charge of the Pasila project at the City of Helsinki. Pasila: Common Agenda, United Front C entral Pasila is a strategic priority for the City of Helsinki – but also the State. As the two actors own all of the land in Central Pasila, it has been easy to enough to focus all energy and effort into helping Central Pasila achieve its full potential. While the developer of Tripla, YIT, shares the same vision, the redevelopment of the area is getting started under highly favourable circumstances. Antti Kari from Senate Properties confirms that the State and the City are very much on the same page when it comes to the redevelopment of the area: “Central Pasila is a key area not only from the viewpoint of the metropolis, but from the national perspective as well,” he says. Biggest One Yet Senate Properties is a government owned enterprise under the aegis of the Finnish Ministry of Finance, acting as the government’s expert on the working environment and working premises. Out of Senate’s several large-scale planning projects around the country, Central Pasila is the biggest current project, with as much as 600,000 floor square metres in the plans. Realised in phases, Central Pasila will 22 Nordicum take shape gradually – targeting the best possible outcome. The “heavy lifting” – creating of the crucial infrastructure to the tune of € 300 million – has already been conducted. The most recent development is that new rail construction kicked off in December 2015. “It’s quite noteworthy that we’ve already made significant investments into the area to make sure that the neighbourhood is attractive to investors. The table is set, so to speak,” Antti Kari says. Dream Project? The huge project should also quiet the critics who complain that Finnish development projects are too small-scale to attract bigtime international investors. Central Pasila redevelopment caters to the hopes and wishes of even the most demanding industry players, Kari believes. Internationally speaking, it is quite rare that owners and other key players have been able to come together and agree on the redevelopment with such ease. Trying to take a railway yard and turn it into a success often runs into trouble as there’s too much bureaucracy, too many actors and too many conflicting interests – the list is woefully long. This is not the case in Central Pasila, says Kari. “Collaboration with the City has been solid from day one. We have a common interest to make it work – and to make it great.” Ahead of Schedule Niina Puumalainen, the City Project Manager for Pasila, confirms that the collaboration so far has been very smooth with both Senate and YIT – and that the project is rolling along ahead of schedule. “We were expecting to have the zoning plan approved by summer 2015, but the plan went into effect already in March 2015,” she says. Antti Kari and Niina Puumalainen also believe in a “domino effect” where the retooling of Central Pasila will kick off redevelopment in the neighbouring areas, too. “This is certainly the case if one looks at areas such as North Pasila and Ilmala,” Kari comments. Another driver for the future is the Ring Rail Line which provides a direct link to the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport. Ring Rail makes two stops in the area, in Central Pasila and in Ilmala. “The importance of the Ring Rail Line will only grow in the years to come,” Kari adds. O