Location as a status factor – Kaartinkaupunki elevates businesses to first class
Kaartinkaupunki, in the southern part of Helsinki’s central city area, offers companies Finland’s most valuable business environment as well as the best lunch and after-work services in the country. It is no wonder that there is not enough room for all companies interested in the area.
The historical centre of Helsinki, Kaartinkaupunki, is a perplexing mixture of dignified business world and lively tourist life. The small neighbourhood – only 0.33 km2 – between Esplanade Park and Tähtitorninmäki is full of historic buildings, popular tourist attractions and high-quality restaurants.
Above all, there are commercial premises there. The number of people living in Kaartinkaupunki is a little over 1,000, but nearly 13,000 people work in the office and business premises in the area.
The vacancy rate in Kaartinkaupunki and other surrounding areas of the city centre is as low as 3.5%, compared to 11.9% for the whole city of Helsinki.
“From the perspective of businesses, Kaartinkaupunki is a very interesting area. It shows in the number of business premises and their low vacancy rate. The vacancy rate in Kaartinkaupunki and other surrounding areas of the city centre is as low as 3.5%, compared to 11.9% for the whole city of Helsinki”, says Hanna Pikkarainen, architect and team leader in the Central City Planning Unit.
Rich urban structure and major agglomeration benefits
According to Pikkarainen, the area is attractive thanks to its rich urban structure and customer base, as well as agglomeration benefits, which are generated when companies that benefit from one another are located nearby.
“The prestigious architecture and ready urban structure make the area stand out from new office centres. Companies clearly see them as status factors too”, Pikkarainen says.
Ilkka Tani, key account manager from Sponda, which owns several premium properties in the area, also has a clear view of what factors attract companies to Kaartinkaupunki.
“Great lunch, catering, after-work and meeting services, unique business premises, as well as good transport connections”, Tani summarises.
According to Tani, Kaartinkaupunki attracts expert companies, such as law firms and architect agencies, business management consultancy firms and advertising agencies, in particular. In addition, there are numerous embassies of different countries in the area.
The best services in Finland
The Empire-style neighbourhood is named after the Guards’ Barracks built in 1822 next to Kasarmitori square.
“The area has remained intact and unique, even though they have built some new buildings here and there between the historical buildings. The challenge is that there are hardly any possibilities to build new buildings in the area, even though there is demand for it”, says Pikkarainen.
The challenge is that there are hardly any possibilities to build new buildings in the area, even though there is demand for it.
Even though the venue is historical, the atmosphere is relaxed and international. It is guaranteed by the popular tourist attractions nearby, such as Suomenlinna, Market Square, Esplanade Park and the Allas Sea Pool by the sea.
In addition, Finland’s best restaurants and hotels, as well as the high-quality shopping opportunities in the adjacent Kluuvi district, attract tourists to Kaartinkaupunki.
“Tourist attractions and the high-quality conference and event services that they offer provide splendid synergy benefits for companies, too”, says Ilkka Tani from Sponda.
Better parking spaces than in the centre of the city
According to Tani, companies that come to the area usually appreciate good routes for cars and bikes in addition to public transport.
“It is easier to drive to Kaartinkaupunki than to the city centre. In addition, there are more parking spaces here. For cyclists, there are great, straight coastal routes.”
There is a continuous effort to develop the historical buildings in the area and make them meet the needs of modern tenants better and better.
According to Tani, there is a continuous effort to develop the historical buildings in the area and make them meet the needs of modern tenants better and better.
They are adding charging points for electric vehicles, parking spaces for bicycles, as well as staff facilities to the buildings while respecting their architecture. Sponda recently renovated its premium properties’ lobbies, too.
More strongly a part of the city centre
According to Pikkarainen, Kaartinkaupunki will be a more integrated part of the city centre in future.
“The renovations in the surroundings of the Market Square and the South Harbour will make the area even more attractive and change the focus of the city centre. For example, the new architecture and design museum to be built on Eteläranta will be a major factor. There are also several rezoning plans aiming to make Kasarmitori livelier. In addition, the look and functionality of the Market Square will be improved in connection with rezoning.”
With the museum project, the city is taking a step towards the shore. There are plans to build a new seaside route next to the museum with a junction to the South Harbour bay. It would also provide a better route from Kaartinkaupunki to the sea.
The objective of urban design is to strengthen the position of Kaartinkaupunki as the most active and attractive business centre in Helsinki.
“People’s needs change over time, and we do not want to carve our plans in stone. The objective is that business premises could be flexibly transformed, if necessary. It is already now possible to flexibly use the historical buildings in the area, with their high ceilings and large rooms, for various purposes”, says Pikkarainen
Sources: Catella Market Indicator 2020, Helsinki by District, Tikkanen / Helsingin Tietokeskus
The updating Unioninkortteli is the gateway to Kaartinkaupunki
Unioninkatu 20–22, which lies next to the Market Square and Esplanade, is a city block full of possibilities for companies to develop their own premises.
The real estate asset management company Sponda is investigating how to update the office premises at Unioninkatu 20–22. It would make it possible for companies to put their own stamp on their premises in the popular Kaartinkaupunki.
This property of more than 26,000 m2 has room for small businesses looking for 20 m2 studios, as well as for large enterprises looking for 6,000 m2 for their headquarters.
“Even though it isn’t easy to find available premises in Kaartinkaupunki, as a major real estate owner in the area, we can offer our customers room to grow inside the premises and in the area. The best chance to find new premises is during renovations”, says Ilkka Tani, key account manager from Sponda.
Easy access to services at Bank and MOW
The tenants at Unioninkatu have the opportunity to take advantage of the new facilities and services of Tapahtumatalo Bank. Bank provides restaurant and café services and boasts of Finland’s most varied lunch offering. In addition, there are fantastic conference and event facilities there. Bank also organises contemporary corporate events.
Tenants can also use Sponda’s inspiring coworking spaces at MOW Mothership in Kaartinkaupunki.
In addition to the modernisation of the property at Unioninkatu, Sponda is exploring possibilities to develop the Unioninkatu quarter. This way, new tenants could have a say in the external facilities and range of services, in addition to their own premises.