Garden Helsinki event arena to proceed into decision-making

Continuing Garden Helsinki’s area reservation will be proposed to the Helsinki Urban Environment Committee on 13 June. The final decision on continuing the reservation is made by the Helsinki City Board. The city’s aim is to find an economically viable solution in 2023 together with the reservation holder so that the amount of residential building rights sold outside the Taka-Töölö project area can be minimised.
 Visualization of the Helsinki Garden project in its surroundings (aerial view).
Photo: B & M Architects and PES-Architects

Garden Helsinki, which has been designed close to the Helsinki indoor skating rink, Bolt Arena and Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Taka-Töölö, is a complex that includes an underground arena and a parking garage, above-ground facilities for hotels, offices, restaurants, sports and culture, as well as for other businesses and apartments.

The spectator capacity of the main arena is 19,000 for concerts and 15,000 for ice hockey games. The scope of the project is 175,000 floor square metres, of which residential construction accounts for approximately 15,000 floor square metres.

Continuing Projekti GH Oy’s reservation for the further planning and implementation of the multi-purpose arena and the related premises and apartments is now proposed to the Helsinki Urban Environment Committee. The reservation decision would be valid until the end of 2025.

“The city’s strategic goal is to improve Helsinki’s competitive position as a host city for cultural, sports and other major events. Recently, Helsinki has been losing its competitiveness in event productions, and the new arena would improve our position significantly,” says Ville Lehmuskoski, executive director from the Helsinki Urban Environment Division.

In addition to the arena complex, the project currently includes the Helsinki indoor skating rink, which is owned by the city. The intention is that the Garden Helsinki project will renovate the skating rink and turn it into extensive cultural and sports facilities as well as a ball sport and event arena, with a spectator capacity of up to 4,900 people, depending on the event. There is now a shortage of both sports facilities and event venues of this size in Helsinki.

“The Covid-19 pandemic, which lasted a couple of years, the crisis in Ukraine, and the rise in construction costs and interest rates have been quite difficult for everyone to cope with, including the Garden project. We have constantly had an open and constructive dialogue with the City of Helsinki. It is good to move on from this,” says Timo Everi, chairman of the Board of Directors of the project company.

The goal of the parties is to find an overall solution during 2023 that will enable the project planning to be advanced to the building permit stage and the project to to be realised. The aim is to minimise the number of residential plots outside the Taka-Töölö project area that were previously connected to the project complex. Among other things, this could mean re-evaluating the pricing of plots in the project area and the city’s participation in financing the building permit phase of the project.

According to the project company, the total investment in the Taka-Töölö project area is around EUR 640 million. It is possible to start the construction of the project in autumn 2024, and the construction period will be four years.

 A sketch of the activities planned for the Helsinki Garden complex.
Photo: B & M Architects and PES-Architects

Video of Garden Helsinki in its future environment