Photo: Alexander Kajanti
Finnish Citycon is building a new shopping centre in Liljeholmstorget, south of downtown Stockholm.
"The area has been a blank spot on the map," says Pontus Larsson, Commercial Director of Citycon's Swedish operations.
"We are building a new shopping centre where the flow of people and the infrastructure are already there."
"It is, actually, quite unbelievable that the area has not been built up earlier," adds Ulf Attebrant, Managing Director of Citycon Sweden.
Even though economic forecasts are becoming more and more pessimistic, Ulf Attebrant is confident that the shopping centre Liljeholmstorget will be a success. He enumerates several advantages:
"Thousands of people pass by Liljeholmstorget on their way to and from work. The health care centre, serving local inhabitants, will continue its operations in the same building, and the existing public transportation is excellent. Moreover, this is one of the three fastest growing areas of Stockholm."
Environment-friendliness in focus
Liljeholmstorget is not only special due to its central location. The project is one of Citycon's three pilots for acquiring the international LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design. The certification acquires, among other things, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, and environment-friendly choices of materials and resources.
"We have followed the principles of sustainable property development from the start and we will continue to do so during the whole life cycle of the shopping centre. We will cooperate with the tenants and encourage them to think green, for example in recycling and the use of lighting in their shops," says Pontus Larsson.
As the new shopping centre, and the rebuilding and development of the existing premises, do not require major changes in the area, the so-called ecological footprint of the project is very small. The shopping centre is being built in an area where there used to be a parking lot, and the new underground garage for the shopping centre's visitors is being built into a rock.
Challenging building site
"This has been a big challenge for us," says Sten Lindberg, who is in charge of the rock works. "There is one place where only two metres of rock separate the parking garage's roof from the foundations of the residential buildings. In the rest of the garage, there is at least five metres in between."
The place has been strengthened with several layers of concrete and iron nets.
"It will be strong enough to hold," says Sten Lindberg. "I guarantee it!"
The construction work started in 2007, and the excavation work for the garage took one year, as estimated. When ready in autumn 2009, the three-story shopping centre will have 28,000 square metres of space for some 90 shops and restaurants. In 2010, 72 flats will be ready. The total investment costs of the project amount to approximately EUR 180 million.
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Citycon, a Finnish real estate company, specialises in the shopping centre business. Citycon builds and develops shopping centres, and continues to manage them throughout their life cycle. Long-term project planning and environment-driven sustainable property development are Citycon's strengths.
NIB has granted a loan of EUR 30 million to Citycon for the building of a shopping centre in Stockholm.
"This project is excellent from a NIB-strategy point of view, says Kim Krokfors, Senior Manager of NIB. It enhances our client's competitive advantage and we believe that economic growth and a healthy environment go hand in hand."
Loan: Citycon Oyj