Long-term thinking is essential for project developers - Hoivatilat

Long-term thinking is essential for project developers

Hoivatilat will build a communal service property that will be showcased at the Lohja 2021 Housing Fair, consisting of a day care centre, nursing home and restaurant. The property being built according to the Dream Service Community concept is a part of the Kumppanuuskortteli (partnership quarter), where right-of-occupancy apartments and blocks of apartments for rental are also located.

Hoivatilat project development manager Olli Haapio welcomes the fact that Hoivatilat has been involved in the development of the area from the very beginning.

“We took up the role of leader of the Kumppanuuskortteli project through competitive tendering on the apartment building side. Our plan received a good reception, and we set out to use it to develop the area together with partners in the planning phase. Lohjan Vuokra-asunnot Oy and TA Companies came along as partners, and I can promise you that an exceptionally fine complex is under construction”, says Haapio.

The project, which began in 2017, was one of the first in which Hoivatilat was involved already in the planning phase. The model has become a way for Hoivatilat to operate: several similar development projects are underway and in the planning.

According to Haapio, the idea behind the projects is to form the heart of the area by creating a service centre around which apartments and services can be added. Hoivatilat’s interest as a project developer is exceptionally broad ranging, as the company will remain the long-term owner of the properties it has built.

“Our perspective is deeper and more multi-faceted than the design of the package to be built for sale. We are always thinking about what an area will be like in the future. We are often the first players in a new area, and we consciously take a risk as to whether the area will develop. It raises the stakes and has a positive impact on the quality of the entire project”, Haapio says.

Responding to the needs and wishes of municipalities, residents, employees and other stakeholders is the key idea underlying the Hoivatilat Service Community concept. An entire area is being developed together through exceptionally close collaboration, accommodating many perspectives and looking forward far into the future.

The winning plan for the partnership block was called Kohtaamisia (interactions). Amongst other factors that were accommodated in the planning was the routes people take, which should facilitate natural interactions. A route for light traffic runs through the entire block area. A park, Kaarnapuisto, is being built next to it, and a square for a diverse range of activities will open out in front of the restaurant in the Hoivatilat property.

Housing company services such as a communal sauna, laundry facility and clubroom are also included. The yard is not delimited according to the plots but is instead shared and designed for pleasantness. Functional solutions such as cultivation boxes in a pleasant yard area also add to the sense of community. The area around the yard is likely to become a key meeting place. There will be a well for watering the plants, with stormwater taking a natural route in the yard.

Trade fairs affect the nature of projects

Construction for the housing fair brings its own nuances to the project. Hoivatilat only participates in housing fairs if it has a new story to tell. For the Lohja fair, the key innovation is a partnership approach involving various features, such as integration through collaboration with property companies and a pleasant yard.

Housing fair projects are usually built on an exceptionally tight schedule. They require excellent project management and good partners in construction. According to Haapio, the situation is somewhat paradoxical: the fair must be taken into account in the planning, but the actual use of the properties, which lasts for decades, will begin only after that.

“These projects must have special solutions and innovations that attract people to the fair, but last a long time. In other words, one month has a major effect on the remaining life of the property. For us as a project developer, this is not only a challenge but also a very inspiring starting point.”