Aerial image of the Wholesale Market area. Photo: City of Helsinki

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The City of Helsinki has unveiled preliminary plans for a major redevelopment of the Wholesale Market area, aiming to transform it into a vibrant hub for food culture, events, and residential living. The ambitious project, slated for the 2030s, includes proposals for a new event arena with a capacity of up to 17,000 spectators, alongside continued wholesale operations.

Located between Kalasatama and Hermanni, the Wholesale Market area currently houses wholesale stores, storage facilities, and Teurastamo, a renowned urban culture center specializing in food.

The City’s vision for the area includes four preliminary scenarios, each maintaining the site's distinct industrial character.

Potential Urban Hub

“The Wholesale Market area could evolve into a major urban center for events, culture, and leisure, complementing nearby Suvilahti and Hanasaari,” said Rikhard Manninen, Helsinki's Land Use Director. “The neighboring Sörnäinen Prison area might also be repurposed, amplifying the area’s potential. Despite these changes, the Wholesale Market will continue its wholesale operations.”

Residential and Commercial Development

Plans include residential buildings in the northern parts of the Wholesale Market, integrating with the new Verkkosaari and Hermanninranta developments. The central part of the area will remain dedicated to wholesale operations and the food industry. The southern edge, home to Teurastamo, is set for expansion to accommodate more cultural events.

The proposals feature the potential construction of a concert hall or an arena capable of hosting up to 17,000 people, enhancing Helsinki’s capacity to host large-scale events.

Enhanced Green Spaces and Urban Streets

The redevelopment will also enhance green spaces, connecting Agroksenmäki with the coastal Hermanninranta and Hermanninpuisto park. Vanha Talvitie, currently a busy thoroughfare, could be transformed into a vibrant city street.

Community Involvement and Sustainable Vision

The city will draft planning principles based on these preliminary scenarios, allowing residents to provide feedback later in 2024. These principles will guide future detailed planning, with major changes expected to take years, if not decades. Current lease agreements for plots in the Wholesale Market are valid until 2036, necessitating early planning.

Helsinki City Premises Ltd., which manages about half of the current facilities, is leading the planning process in collaboration with local stakeholders. The vision emphasizes sustainability and the preservation of the area’s historical significance. The goal is to create a pioneering center for culinary culture, serving as a communal space for businesses, residents, and urban activities.

The Wholesale Market’s transformation is envisioned to make it a dynamic epicenter for food culture and urban living, reflecting Helsinki’s commitment to sustainable and innovative urban development.

HT

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