Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2018 - Page 46

Big on Experience I n the coming years, Turku’s rail yard and train station area may well become home to Finland’s largest experience and event centre. The Turku Rail Yard project is an ambitious urban development concept for the 2020s, combining top-level technology and service design to create world-class experiences and events as well as boost the wellbeing of the citizens. The total cost for the project is estimated to be approximately €480 million. The preparatory survey for Turku Rail Yard project was concluded in sum- mer 2017. The aim of the project is to cre- ate a domestically and internationally attrac- tive experience and event concentration in Turku. “The new project is perfectly in line with the current trends that focus on experi- ence and entertainment, adding to the ‘soft’ attraction of the city,” says Jouko Turto, 46 Nordicum Director of Turku Municipal Property Cor- poration. The core of the plans is formed by an eye-popping experience centre and a new, 10,000 seat multipurpose arena. The experi- ence centre will support family-holiday tour- ism, and the plans include an indoor amuse- ment park and a playground; the multipur- pose arena will be the heart of the event organisation and host domestic and inter- national events, such as concerts, business events, eSports, festivals and ice sports events. The plans also include a tower hotel in the area to support tourism. The project has gained a lot of expo- sure since it has an impressive list of back- ers, featuring Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja from Supercell and NHL legend Saku Koivu. The trio has commented that they want to be part of developing Turku as an attractive centre for business and trade, housing, culture and tourism. Hailing from Turku, they also see the project as an excel- lent opportunity for the comprehensive development of their home city. The original push for the project came from national railway operator VR Group. Currently, much of the area in question is no longer in VR Group’s use, and various options have been discussed with the City on how the rail yard could be developed. VR Group is eager to move forward with the plan which will also be heavily based on Turku’s visions on how the city should be developed. The project’s preparatory survey will function as the development plan which will initiate the concrete discussions between the different parties involved in realising the pro- ject. When the city centre expands into Turku’s rail yard, it will also create a new neighbour- hood of approximately 1,000 residents. l