Malmi Airfield has hosted, over the years, numerous commercial players offering a variety of services. Up until now, however, those services have primarily related to the aviation-related pursuits of the airfield.
With Finnish aviation authority Finavia concluding its operations at the airfield in 2016, the airfield caretaker association Malmin lentokenttäyhdistys ry is still operating in the area until the end of 2019, making sure that Malmi Airfield can function as a so-called unsupervised aviation site.
Starting on 1 January 2020, a new age will dawn at Malmi Airfield, as the fences will start to come down and the area becomes fully open for development – also in commercial sense.
The City of Helsinki owns the land and its buildings according to an agreement made between Finavia and the City in 2014. In 2016, the City put out a call for innovative ideas: what types of activities and events could be held at the Airfield in its present form, before the development phase truly kicks off? - One world-class realisation of this will be witnessed in the summer 2019, as pop music superstar Ed Sheeran will perform at Malmi Airfield on 23 July. All 60,000 tickets were sold out in only 20 minutes, which gives some inclination of Malmi’s suitability as an event venue in the eyes of the citizens.
While pop music icons don’t come to Finland every week, the goal of the City is to make sure the Airfield remains in active, versatile use before the actual construction which is still years away. In September 2018 the City met with entrepreneurs of the area to discuss the roadmap to the future and hear also the local entrepreneurs’ concerns and wishes for the development.
The development will start from the southern part of the area, since the conserved buildings of the airfield, such as the terminal and the hangar, are located there. New uses will be invented for the existing buildings – the oldest ones dating back to the 1930’s – and the various ideas and suggestions from companies will be welcomed here.
For example, the formidable terminal building is large enough to accommodate various uses, possibly delivering a public/private mix. Companies that are interested in the area could, conceivably, operate for years in the existing buildings.
With regards to new construction, the City is launching the so-called Take-off Quarters (Kiitotiekorttelit) in the middle of the area which will become the commercial core of the entire district. Take-off Quarters will go through the planning process in 2021.
According to plans, majority of the new jobs – 2,000 by 2040 – will be found here. As the Malmi Airfield development is the largest completely new undertaking for the City in the coming years and decades, commercial opportunities will be quite significant in the Quarters.
There is also an existing business community in the Tattarisuo industrial park, located to the east of the Airfield. Various synergies may be explored by the Tattarisuo entrepreneurs and the Malmi Airfield entrepreneurs now, and, increasingly, in the future, as also Tattarisuo industrial park is renewing its concept.