Finnish shopping centres enjoyed a good year in 2012. The number of visitors increased by 2.8% from the previous year to 335 million and total sales grew by 4.3% to reach EUR 5.5 billion. Currently ongoing renovation, expansion and construction projects reflect the dynamism of the sector and the popularity of shopping centres among Finnish consumers.
For example, Itis shopping centre in Helsinki is undergoing a major EUR 95 milllion renovation project. With 106,000 square metres of lettable retail space, Itis is the largest shopping centre in the Nordic countries. In addition to renovating the shopping centre’s interior and exterior spaces, the project will improve functionality and boost attractiveness with the arrival of more top international brands.
The renovation project is proceeding in stages, so the shopping centre can remain open throughout. A 4000 square metre project commenced in summer 2012 is now complete, creating a retail area with a strong focus on youth fashion. Leading fashion brands like New Yorker, BikBok, Cubus, JC, Carlings, Ur & Penn and ONLY have opened stores in the newly renovated area.
The Deck and Tampere Central Arena
In the city of Tampere an exceptional new district planned by the American architect Daniel Libeskind will be created with the construction of the The Deck and Tampere Central Arena above the train tracks south of the train station. The deck and arena will include commercial space for shops and restaurants. Offices, business premises, hotel rooms and apartments with a total volume of 60,000 square metres will be built on top of the railroad. The total volume of the arena is almost 50,000 square metres and it has seats for about 11,000 spectators.
The development is a joint project involving Tampere Central Arena Ltd, the City of Tampere and NCC. The project is currently in the planning stage and the first phase is expected to be ready by 2015, and the whole district by 2020.
Mylly Shopping Centre to expand
Mylly Shopping Centre is located near the city of Turku in south-western Finland and is one of the largest shopping centres in Finland outside the Helsinki capital city region. Mylly has increased its sales by more than 40% during the past five years. The shopping centre is now planning a 16,000 square metre expansion, which would make it one of the biggest in Finland.
The global real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle is involved in all three projects.