The post-industrial milieu and the creative atmosphere have made Sörnäinen one of the most sought-after areas for business premises and office spaces. The popularity of the area is expected to multiply in the near future.
Considered the quintessential Helsinki neighbourhood, Sörnäinen has gone through a whirlwind in the last decade. The ongoing Kalasatama and Pasila construction projects around the area are moulding Sörnäinen into an increasingly central and accessible city district.
The historical industrial buildings in the old seaport area have also been brought back to life, now serving businesses and Helsinki residents as inspiring office spaces and public venues.
These changes have made Sörnäinen a trendy business and office hub, attracting operators from the corporate, cultural and education sectors.
Sörnäinen has evolved into a trendy business and office hub, attracting operators from the corporate, cultural and education sectors.
“Geographically speaking, Sörnäinen is quite a small area, but it’s buzzing with activity. The fascinating history of the place, the post-industrial operating environment and the excellent traffic connections particularly attract tenants working in the creative industries and looking for business premises and office spaces,” summarises Perttu Pulkka, expert of the area and City Planner for the City of Helsinki.
Offices at the heart of the area
According to Pulkka, the development of the area was based on strengthening its special characteristics.
“The goal has been to focus on business premises and office spaces as the heart of the area.”
As the number one target group for the area consists of businesses, the goal has been to focus on business premises and office spaces as the heart of the area – supported by the best traffic connections and services. This is also reflected in the increased demand for premises.
“The Vilhonvuori area, for example, is in huge demand right now. Miltton is planning to open its headquarters there, and the Burton building is full of creative industry businesses. The Elanto premises have also been reopened and the ground floor now boasts a large number of new restaurants.”
In addition to businesses, the area has started to fill up with cultural activities and operators of the education sector.
Competitive bidding yields innovative solutions
Pulkka emphasises the significance of competitive bidding when developing a city district. Specifically outlined commissions are used to support the special characteristics of the area while searching for bold and innovative ideas.
“Teurastamo has become a buzzing venue full of modern urban culture and a diverse food scene.”
“For example, we are currently using competitive bidding to find a new solution for the large ramp section of Teurastamo, known as a hub for events and culture.”
Even though the construction projects around Sörnäinen are picking up speed, the construction also boosts the special characteristics of the different areas.
“The new buildings in Kalasatama and Pasila create a strong contrast with the cultured industrial milieu of Sörnäinen.”
The new buildings in Kalasatama and along Teollisuuskatu street – anticipated to become the new main street of Helsinki – create a strong contrast with the cultured and communal industrial milieu and tiny boutiques of Sörnäinen.
Previously profiled as fringes of the district, the lower side of Hämeentie and Sörnäisten rantatie are now an integral part of the upcoming trendy area.
Traffic hub enables growth
According to Pulkka, one of the key factors for growth in the area is its location in a traffic hub.
The area is pierced by nearly all the bus routes travelling north-east and east of the city centre as well as several transverse route bus lines. The metro runs in an east-west direction and there are also several tramlines.
Even though the traffic is already quite busy, passenger numbers are expected to multiply in the future.
“The City Rail Loop and the Crown Bridges light rail line, opening in 2025, are expected to bring about 100,000 new daily passengers to Hakaniemi and Sörnäinen,” says Pulkka.
Due to the excellent service selection and short walking distances, the area boasts the smallest number of cars per resident in Helsinki. There is a particularly diverse selection of lunch restaurants and bars.
Residential area for young people and couples
Alongside Alppiharju and Kallio, Sörnäinen is one of the most densely built areas in Helsinki and, in fact, all of Finland. As the apartments are small, they are typically occupied by couples or young adults. The age structure and the inspiring industrial milieu have provided a fruitful breeding ground for new public events.
"The age structure and the inspiring industrial milieu have provided a fruitful breeding ground for new public events."
Flow Festival in Suvilahti, for example, has been ranked one of the most interesting urban festivals in the world, and the Kulttuurisauna public sauna in Merihaka offers one of the best sauna experiences in Helsinki.
According to Pulkka, the new office spaces and jobs in the area also create pressure to build housing, parks and landscaping.
“A beautiful park is being planned in the Hanasaari area, and the shores of Sörnäinen will be a public area accessible to all Helsinki residents. Complementary construction is also being planned for the shores of Hakaniemi.”
“The appeal of Sörnäinen will increase in the near future.”
Pulkka estimates that the appeal of Sörnäinen will increase even more rapidly in the near future.
“The area will become an increasingly diverse district with constantly improving traffic connections and an ever-expanding service selection.”
Full-service building waiting for a new main tenant
- The office property of Sörnäistenkatu 2 is located next to Teurastamo, right at the border of Sörnäinen and Hermanni.
- The Sponda-owned property is about two have two floors of high-quality office space available for leasing.
- Equipped with modern building service systems, the premises are a perfect fit for the headquarters of a large company.
- The property features solutions promoting easy everyday life and comfort at work; the building has a lobby service, lunch restaurant, shared conference rooms, a gym and a sauna, employee facilities for those commuting by bike and a parking hall with direct access to the office floors.
- Built in 2008, the industrial-style property boasts large windows and tall, open spaces.
- The site was granted a LEED Gold-level environmental certificate in 2016.
- The Sörnäinen, Teurastamo and Kalasatama area has several high-quality lunch spots and cafés and a rich afterwork scene. There are also inspiring venues for various corporate events and customer meetings.
- The site has excellent traffic connections. The metro stations of Sörnäinen and Kalasatama are easily accessible, and there are convenient bus and tram connections from Hämeentie to different parts of the Helsinki metropolitan area. Those commuting by car can avoid the bottlenecks of the city centre by using the efficient Sörnäisten rantatie, Itäväylä highway and Hermannin rantatie for quick access west, east and north.
- For further information, please contact: Tuuli Auvinen: firstname.lastname@example.org / +358 (0)40 773 7359
Did you know?
- In the founding document of 1639, Sörnäinen was originally planned as the city centre of Helsinki. However, the city was finally located in Vironniemi which, at the moment, houses the Presidential Palace, the Senate Square and the Helsinki Cathedral, among other things.
- Located next to Sörnäinen, the Hermanni neighbourhood was named after baron Herman Standertskjöld-Nordenstam. He owned the Kumpula manor in the 1880s and designated three areas on the grounds for use as rental plots. The areas are now known as Hermanni, Vallila and Toukola.
- The Helsinki slang stems from the working-class district of Sörnäinen in early 20th century. Large families were often cooped up in the small rooms of residential buildings constructed for factory, gas plant and coal plant workers, most lacking basic amenities such as a toilet.
- The Helsinki Prison was originally established in 1881 in Sörnäinen, which is why the current prison in Hermanni is often called the Sörnäinen or “Sörkkä” prison. The deciding factors in selecting the location of the prison included excellent traffic connections, reliable supply of water and a fertile soil for agriculture.