Completed in 1972, Heimola Kiinteistö Oy is located at Yliopistonkatu 5, a historically significant plot of land in Helsinki’s central business district. The current retail and office building’s predecessor, the Heimola building, is known as a politically and historically important site that played a role in laying the foundations for Finnish independence.
The Heimola building was a late Jugend era building designed by architect Onni Tarjanne located in Helsinki at what is today Yliopistonkatu 5 (then Hallituskatu 15). The building was completed in 1910 and demolished in 1969 at the request of Suur-Helsingin Osuuskassa, a predecessor of Helsingin OP Pankki Oyj. A modern commercial building was erected on the plot in 1972 and is today majority-owned by Sponda Plc.
The location of the building, which now serves as retail and office space, is historically significant. The Finnish Parliament was based in the Heimola building from 1911 to 1930 and also approved the Finnish Declaration of Independence there on 6 December 1917. It is also where the only King of Finland, Friedrich Karl, was appointed, and key legislation, such as the Crofters’ Law and the Prohibition Act, was enacted.
In 1946–1969, the building was home to the Aloha cinema with an audience capacity of approximately one thousand, and there were also various artists’ collectives based in the building in the late 1960s. The former parliamentary chamber was also the setting for dance restaurant Rio, a venue for famous performers such as Tauno Palo and Siiri Angerkoski. Before the Heimola building was demolished at night in May 1969, the Finnish Parliament had already moved to Arkadianmäki, to the Parliament Building completed in 1931.
New retail space in Helsinki’s central business district
A modern nine-storey commercial building designed by architect Toivo Korhonen was built at the site of the demolished Heimola building in 1972. In addition to retail space, the building has also housed University of Helsinki teaching premises on its upper floors. The Supreme Court of Finland operated out of the building on a temporary basis in 2008–2009 while its regular premises on Pohjoisesplanadi were renovated.
The Heimola building is located at a busy and visible spot at the end of Kluuvikatu, across the street from the entrance to the Kluuvi shopping centre, in the immediate vicinity of the University of Helsinki city campus. The building’s total floor area is 3,724 m² and its ground floor tenants include a large Eurokangas shop, restaurants and a pharmacy.
“With its prime location in Helsinki’s central business district, the Heimola building benefits from good customer flows, both in the form of high pedestrian traffic volume and good transport links. The Kaisaniemi metro station and Kluuvi’s parking facilities are very close to the building,” says Seppo Oksanen, Shopping Centre Manager at Sponda.
According to Oksanen, the Sponda-owned premises were mostly renovated in 2007. Plumbing renovation has recently been completed at the building, and renovation of the ventilation systems is being planned.
“We are very well positioned to continue the commercial development of this building to offer consumers interesting and topical shops and services in Helsinki’s central business district.