Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 26

Stay on Tracks SRV is looking to score big along the metroline Solidifying the urban structure is one way to build a more sustainable metropolis. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, this has been largely achieved by building effective rail transport and launching new communities along the tracks. The two key projects in the metropolitan area are Ring Rail Line and West Metro. The Ring Rail Line – launched in July 2015 – reaches from downtown Helsinki all the way to the Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport; West Metro will extend the current ‘Helsinki-only’ metro service to Espoo in August 2016. T he real estate developer SRV has been very active in pursuing rail-related opportunities in the region. Jouko Pöyhönen, Project Development Director for SRV, comments that participating in projects which solidify the city structure is a strategic choice for the company. “In addition to bringing down the carbon footprint, the more compact structure improves people’s quality of life, as services become readily available,” he says. Mix It Up Partly for this reason, SRV is also a firm believer in mixed-use: “Bringing both residential and commercial development into an area will usually give the best result. We look for the right balance in all of our projects,” Pöyhönen says. Sometimes achieving that balance is a real juggling act. Nowhere is this more 24 Nordicum apparent than in Helsinki’s Kalasatama where SRV is taking a brownfield scenario – a former harbour area – and turning into a beautiful seaside neighbourhood, with a first-class shopping centre and impressive high-rise construction. Connectivity here is outstanding: thanks to its very own metro station, the community is mere minutes away from downtown Helsinki. All and all, Kalasatama is SRV’s biggest development project to date – and the company is determined to make it great. Rewrite the Future Markus Laine, Director, Real Estate Transactions and Investors for SRV, believes that Kalasatama is a real game-changer in the way we look at our urban communities. “Kalasatama is giving us a taste of what life will be like in the future,” Laine says. SRV signed the agreement on the development of Kalasatama already in 2011 and has been working steadily to push the venture forward. Today, there are already almost 3,000 residents in the neighbourhood – but the goal is set at 20,000 people by 2025. Kalasatama will feature also a state-ofthe-art health and wellbeing centre, built by SRV and sold to a special fund managed by Deka Immobilien in August 2015. The centre is expected to be finished in late 2017. “This deal is one example of the powerful appeal of Kalasatama,” Laine comments. Ready for REDI The anchor for Kalasatama, however, will be the shopping centre REDI which will be the focal point for local community, business and services. Featuring over 60,000 square metres of retail space, REDI promises to be almost double the size of the shopping centre Kamppi, another SRV success story.