Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 30

services and a charging point for electric cars. Heavily favoured by citizens and companies alike, the Leppävaara area is developing rapidly. The area is characterised by business park complexes with several buildings: NCC Alberga, NCC’s and Lemminkäinen’s joint venture Polaris and Hartela’s Quartetto. Also SRV’s new headquarters is located in the neighbourhood. Who Needs A Car? In the autumn 2015, Leppävaara became the “rail capital of Espoo”, as the Turku-bound trains will stop only here and nowhere else in the City. The increased connectivity has attracted a lot of young professionals into the neighbourhood that wouldn’t think of getting a car – Leppävaara has all the services available within walking distance. Mika Rantala, City Project Manager for Leppävaara, says that about half of the households here don’t have a car – and are doing just fine. ”The community has a dedicated pedestrian mindset and “walkability” will only be enhanced in the future,” Rantala promises. “We are expanding the pedestrian city centre area and adding a more urban feel, especially to the northern side of the city centre.” Walkability extends to going to work, it turns out. Almost 10,000 people are employed within the community, and the Running the Hub rise of the office complexes continues to be intense. Rantala points out that Leppävaara has been busy building offices throughout the recession – while elsewhere in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, the construction efforts have been much more modest, at times. “We have the makings of a great hybrid city here, one that features both offices and residential assets and is active 24/7,” Rantala says. Arrival of the metro and the new bus terminal will provide the approximately 40,000 residents of Matinkylä with great public transport connections to Helsinki and all parts of Espoo. Since Matinkylä is the final stop for the new line, it is a crucial feeder traffic hub which is estimated to serve over 35,000 passengers daily. In fact, based on passenger forecasts, it will be the busiest station of the new line. At the very core of things, NCC Property Development and Citycon are making a genuine “metro centre,” conveniently linking the metro station, bus terminal and the shopping centre. Markus Saari says that the top level of the new metro centre will be reserved for municipal services: the City will have as much as 6,000 square metres of public services here, including a large library and the health centre. The development will open to public in August 2016. Also, the environs of the station will be developed into a services/wellbeing park which will feature a lot of “grey power”: according to Saari, the City is committed to providing solutions that will make the area enjoyable especially to senior citizens. “We want to launch our new ‘senior living’ concept right here, complete with a full range of services,” he says, adding that as the population of Finland keeps aging, someone has to be a pioneer in the field of providing smart residential solutions for the elderly. Matching Matinkylä Another community that is linked by rails and powered by retail is Matinkylä, the end of the line – for now – for the new metroline. The dominant feature in Matinkylä is the shopping centre Iso Omena, the fifth biggest shopper’s paradise in the land. The Matinkylä metro station is being developed at the southern end of the shopping centre. The arrival of metro is expected to attract both new businesses and residents here. Markus Saari, Project Director for the City of Espoo, sees great things waiting for the neighbourhood. As per the Matinkylä – Olari development vision, the area will be developed from the viewpoint of community, providing high quality accommodation, new jobs and well-being for all citizens. In the future, this city centre located between the sea and Espoo Central Park will feature even more services, recreational activ ]Y\˜[