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Citycenter celebrates: Keskuskatu finally becomes a pedestrian street

Sponda Plc
Press release
27 August 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

Citycenter celebrates: Keskuskatu finally becomes a pedestrian street

One of the long-term goals of the development of Helsinki’s city centre has finally been achieved: Keskuskatu is now a pedestrian street through its entire length from Pohjoisesplanadi to Kaivokatu. The property investment company Sponda has been involved in the Helsinki city centre development project since its early days at the beginning of the 2000s.

Sponda has co-operated with the City of Helsinki and other property owners to develop an underground maintenance tunnel that improves the traffic safety of the pedestrian zone and the city centre. The renovation project of the Citycenter property owned by Sponda played a significant role in the implementation of the pedestrian street.

The removal of the vehicle ramps of Citycenter, known locally as Makkaratalo, on the Keskuskatu side, and moving the maintenance and parking traffic of the retail complex from the street level to an underground maintenance tunnel made it possible for the section between Aleksanterinkatu and Kaivokatu to be turned into a pedestrian street. Vehicles also had to make way inside Citycenter, as the building’s former loading area and car park level were converted into attractive retail space.

Sponda will celebrate the completion of the pedestrian street with the City of Helsinki Public Works Department and the other commercial properties on Keskuskatu by arranging together a grand opening event on the pedestrian street, in front of Citycenter, on Thursday, 28 August, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

In addition to the festivities on the street outside, the grand opening will be marked by events inside Citycenter, with Radio NRJ bringing its studio to the shopping centre on 28-30 August. During this three-day period, the shopping centre will feature live NRJ broadcasts, top Finnish artists, special offers, improvisational theatre and stand-up comedy.

Sponda has owned the Citycenter property, which was completed in 1967 and designed by Viljo Revell and Heikki Castren, since 1999. The lengthy renovation project of the commercial property has seen Citycenter, a traditional retail location that has served as a place of trade since the early 1900s, undergo a substantial transformation and find new life.

Sponda Plc

Additional information:
Henrik Stadigh, Director, Shopping Centres, Sponda Plc, tel. +358 50 324 2800

Sponda Plc is a property investment company specialising in commercial properties in the largest cities in Finland. Sponda’s business concept is to own, lease and develop retail and office properties and shopping centres into environments that promote the business success of its clients. The fair value of Sponda’s investment properties is approximately EUR 3.3 billion and the leasable area is around 1.4 million m².