Wereldhave’s Itis shopping centre is one of Finland’s largest shopping centres, with 94,000 m² of retail. Wereldhave owns the entire freehold of the building and the land.
RESULTS AND VALUATION
In Finland, a total of 62 leases was signed for 8,859m² and occupancy increased in 2017 by 100 bps to 96.7%. Like-for-like rental growth for the year 2017 amounted to 5.5% in Finland (index 0.3%). Leasing activity was high and there were first signs of international retailers entering the Finnish market. JDSports agreed terms for the former Seppälä unit. It will be their first shop in Finland. Together with the first Imax in Finland, this proves that Itis is the preferred retail centre in Greater Helsinki. Other important leases that were signed were with FeelVegas, Indecoria and Ego, a cosmetics store.
A lease was signed with Regus for 950m² of office space above Itis. Although the ongoing refurbishment of the Finnkino impacts more than 7,000m² in the heart of the centre and Itis does not benefit from the introduction of larger opening hours for hypermarkets, footfall in Itis still increased by 2.6% in 2017. This is only 0.3% below the market average.
The Finnish portfolio was valued at € 572.0m on December 31, 2017 against € 565.6m a year earlier. The change relates to the investments made in connection with the Finnkino cinema.
There were no changes to the Finnish portfolio in 2017. The development of a new cinema in the middle of Itis is progressing well. The demolition permit was granted in June and demolition works of the former Anttila department store were completed by the end of November. The building permit for the Finnkino cinema was granted in September and became unconditional in October 2017. The 9-screen Finnkino cinema is scheduled to open its doors at the end of 2018. It will be the first IMAX® movie theater in Finland. The press conference in which Finnkino announced its decision to create an Imax in Itis generated a lot of media attention to Itis. Wereldhave expects that the Finnkino in Itis will provide a boost to footfall and sales.
The project involves some retailer relocations and the creation of a food & beverage court in the centre. The total area impacted on is circa 6,500 sq metres of current retail space over four floors and additionally involves demolishing an office block situated on the roof level and relocation of those tenants.
During 2017, for a pilot 120 solar panels were installed on the rooftop of the Pasaasi part of the centre. Fire safety training were given to property and tenants’ staff, including fire-fighting training. It was also decided to improve escalator safety, in view of recurring incidents with people ignoring the escalator safety rules. Poles were installed in front of the escalators to prevent people taking their zimmer frame on the escalator instead of using the elevators.
The bi-annual Itis sale in March and September were well visited. Several other events were organised in Itis during the year, which generated media attention in newspapers and blogs. The co-operation with the Hope foundation was continued. The third joint Christmas gift drive exceeded all expectations by collecting 3,500 Christmas gifts to underprivileged children and youth.
The tenant satisfaction score in Itis showed the results of our efforts. The overall tenant satisfaction score went up to 4.55/5 against 4.26/5 in 2016.