A workout in the gym for dad, a relaxing massage for mum, and dancing for the kids at the same time. All this is possible in the community-oriented HyvinVointiTalo wellness centre, where five businesses in the same field serve consumers under one roof in Espoo.
“We could organise a joint open doors day on Espoo Day with the building’s other actors!” The idea came to Tiina Kaivola, Managing Director of the StepUp dance school, when she attended an information event held by the City of Espoo.
And so it happened that five businesses, all operating in the Sponda-owned Espoon Piispanportti 12 property, decided to follow through on the idea. They included StepUp School, the Elixia Länsiväylä exercise and wellness centre, Espoo Dance Institute, Fysios SelkäCenter Matinkylä and Pilates Ateljé.
“We produced a joint marketing brochure with information on trial classes and discounts, as well as a competition to come up with a name for the building,” says Nina Milan-Arach, reception secretary at Fysios SelkäCenter, recalling the high-energy start to the cooperation. The five companies wanted to create a joint brand that would stick in the minds of local residents. Other properties in the area include the Fortum building and the shopping centre Iso Omena.
“The open house event went very well. We each had our own event programme and people had the chance to visit several different places. We also took advantage of each others’ premises. For example, we at Fysios SelkäCenter borrowed one of StepUp’s rooms for a lecture because we didn’t have a suitable space ourselves,” Milan-Arach explains.
Teaming up with others in the same field
In addition to Tiina Kaivola and Nina Milan-Arach, the people gathered at the round table in StepUp’s meeting room include Principal Taina Huovila-Währn and Accounting Manager Virpi Kunnas-Helminen from Espoo Dance Institute and Managing Director Anu Raita from Pilates Ateljé. They chat away while enjoying some blue cheese and biscuits.
The crucial factor in finding common ground was that Sponda had sought businesses that operate in the same field to occupy the Piispanportti property.
“Our goal was to put together a good cluster of wellness services that complement each other,” says Harri Autio, Account Manager at Sponda.
The premises in Piispanportti were designed and implemented in accordance with the tenants’ wishes.
“We listen to and regularly meet with our customers to ensure that we have an up-to-date understanding of their needs, which can sometimes change quite quickly,” Autio explains.
From one class to another
The cooperation between the businesses in Piispanportti is readily apparent in many ways in daily life. The tenants agree mutually on practical matters, such as the cleaning of the property and the need for repairs, and they encourage their customers and employees to use the services of fellow tenants in the building. None of them are worried about losing customers — quite the contrary.
“I rescheduled a class to have it begin thirty minutes earlier so that the senior citizens who come for a dance class can first attend my Gyrokinesis class, which improves mobility and strengthens the deep muscles. By the way, we are the only place in Finland to offer group classes based on the Gyrotonic method,” Raita says. The senior citizens like to have coffee together and spend their free time with each other.
Parents don’t have to just hang around while their kids attend a dance class. Instead, they can get a workout doing some familiar or new activity, or perhaps enjoy a massage. Elixia also has a staff-monitored play area for children.
“Today we worked on our plans for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and discussed the need for a joint website to communicate our events and activities. We can link that content to our company-specific websites,” Kunnas-Helminen says animatedly.
Pilates Ateljé Managing Director Anu Raita (on the right) leads fellow HyvinVointiTalo entrepreneurs Virpi Kunnas-Helminen (on the left) and Tiina Kaivola in oblique stretches.
This cooperation has created stronger ties between the people who operate businesses in the building. This sense of community reached a new level in the area of marketing when the property was given a new name. The Piispanportti building is now known as HyvinVointiTalo, which is Finnish for “House of Wellness”. HyvinVointiTalo has space for community activities on many levels.