Citycon has made a decision to invest in the Lippulaiva shopping centre development project, located in Espoonlahti, in the Helsinki area. The plan is to demolish the current shopping centre and build a completely new, modern and urban shopping centre that will be double the size of the current centre. The new Lippulaiva’s gross leasable area will be around 42,000 square metres. Citycon’s total investment in the project is around EUR 160–180 million.
“We estimate that the project will start this autumn once the contracts required for the construction work have been signed with the municipality, Länsimetro and the contractor. The city plan also needs to gain legal force before we can start the project. We are well underway with reaching our pre-leasing target with almost four years until opening” explains Nils Styf, Chief Investment Officer at Citycon. The new Lippulaiva will host around 80 different shops, cafés, restaurants and services in addition to municipal services and health care facilities. The service offering will have a strong focus on groceries and other necessity driven retail to cater to the everyday needs of the growing catchment area. The plan also includes integrating the Espoonlahti new regional library and culture centre in the shopping centre. The anchor tenants of the shopping centre include strong daily retailers such as K-Supermarket, Prisma, Lidl and Tokmanni.
Citycon sees great potential in the project as the new Länsimetro western metro extension’s station and a bus terminal for feeder traffic will be located within the new shopping centre. The catchment area of Lippulaiva has strong purchasing power and it is the fastest growing area in the Helsinki Metropolitan area. The objective is for the new Lippulaiva to be opened in spring 2020 already a few months before the second phase of Länsimetro starts running.
A total of approximately 550 new apartments will be constructed in connection with the new shopping centre. The contractor will be construction company Lehto Group Oyj with which Citycon has signed a preliminary contract on the construction of the shopping centre.
Given that shopping centre Lippulaiva will be closed for the duration of the construction work, Citycon plans to secure everyday services for residents of the surrounding area and the prerequisites for its tenants’ business during the period of the renovation. To meet these requirements, a temporary shopping centre, Pikkulaiva, covering around 8,000 square metres, will be built in close proximity to Lippulaiva. Some of Lippulaiva’s current tenants, such as K-Supermarket Seilori, Lidl, the pharmacy and Alko will temporarily relocate to Pikkulaiva. Some of Lippulaiva’s tenants have been provided with the opportunity to move into Citycon’s other shopping centres for the duration of the development project.
“Our starting point is that we move the everyday services of the people of Espoonlahti out of the shopping centre under construction and into a temporary building offering customers convenient and pleasant surroundings for shopping. We want to hold on to our valued tenants and ensure they have a functional place to operate during the construction work. The new Lippulaiva will make Espoonlahti’s service offering significantly more diverse and the entire neighbourhood more attractive,” explains Heikki Alén, Project Development Manager at Citycon.