The city of Helsinki’s board is due to confirm the decision shortly and work is due to start in 2020, with the first phase of the project ready for use in 2021.
The consortium for the Growth Company Campus comprises a total of 23 companies, including Industryhack (which develops collaboration between large corporations and growing companies), Accenture (offering consultation and technology services) and MaaS Global (which develops sustainable transportation).
The intention is for the site for be one of Europe’s biggest campuses for growing companies.
Mayor Jan Vapaavuori said: ”Helsinki’s draw in the start-up sector has increased, and according to a recent study by Startup Genome, our ecosystem is already the world’s most collective and most ambitious in its class. We’re doing everything we can to make Helsinki one of the best places in the world for start-ups and growth companies while maintaining it as an attractive cluster of expertise that draws in both businesses and talent. The expanding and developing Maria growth company campus is an important step towards achieving this.”
Yit executive vice president of urban development Juha Kostiainen said: “This project perfectly embodies our vision of more life in sustainable cities. Our concept is a continuation of urban structures, and its novel flexibility takes into account the fast-changing facility and service needs of startup businesses.”
For Keva, the project is more than just a property investment. “Our international venture capital partners view Finland as an interesting target area,” said CEO Timo Kietäväinen. As a long-term investor, Keva wishes to contribute to improving the scope for action for start-up and growth companies, he said.
The start-up cluster that has operated in the Maria hospital area for the past two years has constantly had more applicants than the facilities can accommodate. The future campus will comprise the current area as well as the development of the southern section. According to a preliminary estimate, more than 50,000m2 of new premises can be constructed in the southern part. In addition to this, Maria 01 in the northern part of the area will expand from its current 13,000m2 to 19,000m2. A covered central plaza will become the heart of the new southern section, surrounded by restaurants, cafes, event venues, offices and co-working spaces. The architect is Aarti Ollila Ristola Arkkitehdit.