The old energy production area in the Suvilahti district of Helsinki transferred to the administration of the Real Estate Company Kaapelitalo at the beginning of 2008. In the coming years the area will be developed into a cultural centre that is similar to Kaapelitehdas (the Cable Factory). Suvilahti will be utilised for cultural activities and business supporting these activities. The administration and operating model for the new urban culture environment is similar to that of Kaapelitehdas.
Work, atelier and performance space is being renovated at Suvilahti for use by artists and artist groups, as well as by other cultural operators.
The required building inspections, basic repairs and renovations will take years: at the moment it is estimated that the buildings will be filled by lessors and activities in 3 to 5 years and that technically the buildings will be at the same level as Kaapelitehdas in approximately ten years.
Alongside the renovations, work continues to forming the business concept for the area. It currently looks like one of the broadest sources of content will come from the performing arts; many independent theatre groups have expressed a desire to operate at Suvilahti, and the Cirko – Centre for New Circus will begin operating there in 2010. The goal is to create an inspiring, creative community in the area whose membership neither obligates nor binds, but instead offers the opportunity of working together with others at Suvilahti.
The transformation of the Suvilahti area into a cultural centre is part of the broader development plan for the Sörnäistenranta and Kalasatama districts. The cargo harbour at Sompasaari will move to Vuosaari in November 2008, and the vacated space will be used to create a new urban district over the coming years. The district will eventually house around 18,000 residents and 10,000 workplaces.