Wholesale Market freezing plant to be closed down by the end of 2024

The operation of the freezing plant in the Kalasatama Wholesale Market area in Helsinki will end by the end of 2024. This is due to the very poor condition of the old freezing plant, environmental risks and the fact that a replacement investment has proven to be financially unviable.
Freezing plant building in Kalasatama.
The freezing plant in the Kalasatama Wholesale Market area will be closed by the end of 2024. Photo: Teina Ryynänen

Completed in 1953, the freezing plant has reached the end of its technical service life. The freezing plant uses ammonia as a refrigerant, posing an environmental risk. Renovation of the building to meet today’s requirements has also been found to be impossible. The City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division and Helsinki City Premises Ltd, which operates the freezing plant, have decided to discontinue the operations. 

“We have explored several options for both repairing the freezing plant and building a new one. All of them have proven to be either functionally or economically impossible,” says Antti Halm, Head of Department at the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division’s Business Premises Unit.

The freezing plant currently has about 150 tenants. The lease agreements of the companies operating at the freezing plant will be terminated in 2024. The properties in the Wholesale Market and Teurastamo area are mostly owned by the City of Helsinki, and they are managed and rented out by Helsinki City Premises Ltd, a city-owned company.

Future of the Wholesale Market area to be considered comprehensively

The future of the Wholesale Market area is now being extensively considered. Helsinki City Premises Ltd and the Urban Environment Division are working together to prepare a vision and planning principles that comprehensively outline the development opportunities in the area. Through these reviews, the aim is to decide which functions should be maintained as services provided by the city and what kind of alternative use the area could have in the future. 

“The Wholesale Market and Teurastamo area is in a very central place in terms of urban structure, and it is also important in terms of urban and food culture.  The area offers many opportunities as part of the densifying and growing urban Kalasatama. We are about to start the planning of the area, and it is important to involve the entrepreneurs, food and urban culture operators and residents of the area in this process,” says Rikhard Manninen, Land Use Director at the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division.   

“The area is an essential part of the food ecosystem of the inner city. We want to bring it up to date so that the whole area functions more appropriately, sustainably and attractively. The area is distinctive and interesting. It is a combination of industrial identity, innovative entrepreneurship and independent urban culture also in the future,” says Peggy Bauer, CEO of Helsinki City Premises Ltd.