Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2018 - Page 40

SRV is set to raise the long-awaited Deck and Arena in Tampere For years, there have been plans to solidify the city structure of Tampere by building a deck above the railway tracks downtown. The idea is to join east and west Tampere with a new type of hybrid block combining housing, commercial pursuits and a state-of-the-art sports and event arena. The ambitious undertaking is known as the Deck and Arena project. According to the project schedule, the entire project will be completed in 2023. S pearheaded by construction company SRV and the City of Tampere, the project features a hotel, restaurants and other entertainment premises – such as only the second Veikkaus casino in the entire nation. With a price tag of over EUR 500 million, the project is a “huge under- taking” for SRV, says Project Director Hen- rik Eklund. “Our company is known for its exper- tise in developing city centres, and we feel that there’s a lot we can achieve in Tam- pere,” he says. “For example, the sports and event arena in question will be the biggest in the land, with a capacity of approximately 13,000 people.” According to Eklund, SRV is eager to boost the urban evolution in Tampere – the largest inland city in all of Scandinavia – and has been talking with the City since sum- mer 2016 to develop this project onwards. Hybrid Excellence According to the plans, the first phase of the project is to involve covering the south- 40 Nordicum ern railway yard with a deck on which the arena, a hotel and two towers will be built. The second phase will encompass the north- ern deck and three towers. An estimated one thousand new homes will be built by the pro- ject as a whole, says Eklund. “As is the case in many of our new projects, we are going hybrid with this one, integrating leisure, residential and office ele- ments.” In October, the Deck and Arena pro- ject took one important step closer to being realised, as SRV and the project’s invest- ment partners, LocalTapiola and OP Finan- cial Group’s insurance and pension insur- ance companies, signed a joint venture agreement. At the same time, SRV signed a shareholder agreement for the multi-pur- pose arena with the City of Tampere. The project’s investment partners will become shareholders in the project company once the final investment decision has been made. The following month the project received more good news as the Finn- ish Parliament granted a state subsidy of EUR 18 million for the arena. According to Eklund, the Deck and Arena is a project of also national ramifications, since it creates a powerful logistical hub. “We are pleased to have the State onboard with this and are hoping to final- ise the details of the project soon,” he says. Kings of the Ice Already the first operator and cooperation agreements have been signed for the Deck and Arena project: the Finnish national hockey league teams Tappara and Ilves will play their home games in the new arena and Lapland Hotels will run the adjoining hotel. The con- tract was also signed with Restamax for the multi-purpose arena’s restaurant services. “This is the first time in Europe where we see a fully integrated hotel in connec- tion to an arena,” Eklund says, revealing that some hotel rooms will have their own private balconies which allow the guests to watch a game or a show. Toni Kankare, Account Director at SRV, adds that it is also true that no other arena in Finland can rival the “total enter- Get to the Core