KHO’s decision entails that the detailed plan, completed in 2020, will enter into force, and measures to promote the construction of the former Maria Hospital area will be taken accordingly. The decision to approve the detailed plan is now final.
The Administrative Court’s decision stated that the City of Helsinki had failed to sufficiently survey alternatives that would take the values of the built environment of the southern part of the area better into account, and the requirements set for the content of the detailed plan were thus not met in this regard. The Supreme Administrative Court came to a different conclusion in its assessment.
According to the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision, the plan solution is based on planning work that assesses the significant effects of the plan, as well as research and survey work necessitated by such planning. When assessed as a whole, the buildings to be demolished and moved in the area do not have protection values that should definitely have been emphasised more than the aspects related to the development of the area that were presented as grounds for the plan solution.
Furthermore, with the other effects of the plan solution (on the preservation of the values of the built environment of the former hospital area) taken into consideration, KHO states that the content requirements set for the detailed plan regarding the protection of the built environment have been taken sufficiently into account.
The plan facilitates the construction of the startup campus
Developing the Maria 01 startup hub is one of the objectives of Helsinki’s City Strategy. A startup and growth business campus that is significant on a Northern European scale has been planned for the former Maria Hospital area. The campus will also provide Helsinki residents with open services.
In accordance with the detailed plan entering into force, the former hospital buildings located in the northern part of the area, being used by Maria 01, will be permanently converted into business premises. Furthermore, the plan facilitates the construction of a new growth and technology business block featuring approximately 50,000 m2 of floor area. After the expansion, the campus will have space for several hundred operators and around 5,000 employees.
The most significant portion of new construction involved in the Maria project has been planned to take part in the southern part of the area. The extension of the campus will be implemented by a development company owned by YIT and Keva. A significant portion of the new building complex will consist of flexible office and negotiation premises to be used primarily by start-up and growth businesses. Furthermore, the extension will feature accommodations, restaurants, business and service premises, well-being and exercise facilities and event venues.
The construction of the area is being prepared
The aim is to begin the construction of the Maria area in 2023 with pre-construction, street and demolition work commissioned by the City of Helsinki. Municipal infrastructure will be overhauled in the area, in addition to which preparations are being made for jobs such as building a new pedestrian bridge over Baana to Lastenkodinkatu.
The Auroranlinna residential building from the 1980s will be demolished to make room for the new buildings. The former disinfection plant will also be demolished, but a part of it will be preserved as a memento in the lobby space of the new building. The former chapel and autopsy building will be moved closer to the old Maria maintenance building. In turn, the old epidemic pavilion and disinfection guesthouse will be moved to Itä-Pakila, where they will later be put into residential use.
Together with the City of Helsinki, YIT and Keva are preparing construction work in the southern part of the area. The aim is to begin actual building construction in early 2024.