Metro and Redi attract business to Kalasatama
In addition to 21,000 people, Kalasatama will eventually be home to a large number of enterprises and provide 8,000 jobs. Large new properties will be built for many big companies including K-group (Kesko), whose flagship building, K-campus, will be completed in 2019 and bring 1,700 Kesko workers to Kalasatama.
Why did K-group want to have its flagship in Kalasatama?
“There were many reasons, but easy access was the key reason. The campus had to be in a place that can be easily reached by bicycle, public transport and car,” says project leader Leif Backman of Kesko.
K-group needs new space because of its rapid growth. The group has made major acquisitions: it has bought the Siwa and Valintatalo chains and the Onninen wholesale business. “We can’t all fit into our current facilities. We wanted to focus our units of the Helsinki metropolitan area in one building and so to increase collaboration. Today these units are dispersed in five different locations.”
Kesko will have close to 30,000 square metres of floor space on six floors in the new building, as well as parking for 200 cars and for an equal number of bicycles. The building will fill almost a full city block.
Backman is pleased that K-group will be able to operate in a facility designed for the group’s needs. The new building will adapt to changes in the workplace and allow K-group to grasp the opportunities offered by digitalization. The Varma insurance company will also build a wing to the building, which will allow K-group to attract partners and stakeholders to join them under the same roof.
Good local culture
K-campus will be built on a site owned by Varma, which will construct and lease the new property to Kesko.
Benjamin Kalliola of Varma real estate operations explains that Kesko needed one large facility, and Varma looked for one big tenant for the site, which Varma had been making plans for ever since the construction of the Kalasatama centre Redi was announced by SRV.
“Kalasatama has become a highly attractive and much wanted area, also culturally so thanks to the Teurastamo good food centre and the Flow Festival,” Kalliola says. He is pleased with the current pace of new construction in Helsinki, which includes dense areas comprising housing, business space and services.
All office space leased
The location of Kalasatama is praised by Jouni Puhakka, CEO of Lindström Invest. The company has three major office buildings in the area.
“All office space is leased at the moment,” Puhakka says. Lindström Invest believes that their success will continue. The company decided to expand one of the office buildings, Business Park, as soon as they heard about Redi.
The company will build a 20,000-square-metre office building including parking on Rantatie, and the section to be completed in late 2017 is already fully leased. The new building will be located across the street from K-campus, and Lindström Invest believes that the area will be increasingly dynamic and attractive as a result.
Puhakka points out that good connections are key to choosing a location. He gives special thanks to the metro in Kalasatama and adds, “Other connections here are good, too. For example, there is a direct route from here to the airport.”