Construction The multi-million-storey apartment building will be destroyed, right next to Helsinki’s city center – Locals wonder about the riddle of long-lost builders

A Polish real estate development company said last summer that it would convert into a former office. Now the renovation work in Kamppi is in progress and the main contractor has been filed for bankruptcy.

Helsinki According to HS, the conversion of the office building in Kamppi into apartments has run into difficulties.

The construction site on the corner of Lastenkodinkatu and Lastenkodinkuja is a ghostly desert on a weekday. The tarpaulins covering the building are torn in many places, and the spring wind ripples the rags.

Garbage bags, beer cans and other rubbish hang inside the construction site fences. Part of the patinated copper coating on the facade of the building has been torn off. At least one of the windows yawns open.

Employees in orange vests and helmets are nowhere to be seen. The name, responsible persons or contact information of the builder and contractor are not visible on the site.

The site plan should include the name of the site, the purpose and time of completion of the work, the permit ID of the site, and the telephone number of the main contractor and the responsible foreman.

What exactly is happening in the property?

Several 75 apartments, an additional floor and a sauna department are under construction in the former office property, which has been vacant for years. HS spoke about the construction project last summer.

Read more: Lastenkodinkatu office property will be converted into apartments in Kamppi, the price per square meter of apartments is approximately 10,000 euros

The progress of the project has been followed from the beginning by a resident who wants to remain anonymous. His identity is known to HS.

According to the resident, the work has not progressed much: construction workers arrived at the property in late summer 2021, piled up scaffolding partially around the building, installed shelters on the scaffolding and helped the area.

“After that, the men did their job for a couple of months and lost,” she says.

“The plot is in a very bad condition. The property has open windows and the walls are exposed as there are no more panels to protect them. ”

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A resident is concerned about the safety of scaffolding on an empty construction site. Across the road is Ressu Elementary School. A traffic sign on the street warns of moving children.

The facades of the building are upholstered in the original profile with a copper profile sheet metal. Now part of the copper coating has been torn off. According to the building permit, a new pre-patinated copper cladding will be added to the façade.

Construction site a Helsinki resident is standing in front of him Kaino Laaksonen. As usual, he has come to pick up his grandchild from school. Laaksonen also says that he has noticed a quiet construction site and torn shelters.

“It’s a miracle. It has been quiet now. I thought the work was over because of the winter. ”

An employee who remains anonymous says in the school yard that he marveled at the tranquility of the construction site.

“I was expecting a terrible truck rally. Some demolition work has been done there. Windows and other stuff have been thrown into the courtyard. ”

Inspection Engineer Matti Teppo The City of Helsinki is surprised to hear that the tarpaulins covering the scaffolding are still unrepaired. According to him, the grievance was promised to be repaired even before Easter.

“They make a scary sound when they slap in the wind. After all, it can be dangerous if they leave and fly somewhere. And, of course, beer cans do not belong on the construction site. ”

Teppo says that he has received fifty complaints about the site and that he has always been in contact with the responsible foreman.

“Things have been promised to be fixed.”

Kaino Laaksonen marvels at the quiet construction site on Lastenkodinkatu.

Property is owned by a Polish company called RPGZ X, the managing director of which is a real estate investor Rafał Zięba.

The property was transferred to the company from the Youth Foundation, which was in financial trouble, and in turn acquired the property from another Polish company, Icon Re, for EUR 18.5 million in 2017.

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Yle news in March last year that the Central Criminal Police are investigating property-related transactions as part of a widespread suspicion of financial crime linked to the Youth Foundation.

According to Yle, the transaction was several million euros more expensive and in connection with the transaction, consulting fees of hundreds of thousands of euros were paid to the Estonian desk drawer company.

In the investigation of the coil, the criminal titles have been aggravated embezzlement, aggravated money laundering, aggravated forgery, aggravated dishonesty of the debtor and abuse of trust.

According to the Central Criminal Police, the pre-trial investigation is still ongoing. Krp is continuing its investigation into the real estate transaction and investigating the damage caused to the Youth Foundation as an abuse of trust.

“Money has not flowed as agreed and no payments have been received.”

Reached by HS, Zięba is reluctant to comment on issues related to the construction project over the phone. He does not reply to the email.

The former owner of the property, Icon Re, is still involved in the development of the property as his responsible person Witold Breś. He claims in an email to HS that work is underway on Lastenkodinkatu and that workers are taking care of the safety and cleanliness of the site.

HS has visited the site for several days and nothing has happened there.

The majority of the premises at Lastenkodinkatu 5 have been empty for years.

Helsinki the city is said to have changed the chief designer of the project last year.

According to HS, the project involves a wide range of ambiguities and payment difficulties. For example, Rakennusliike J. Rajala, who acted as the main contractor in the project, has a pending bankruptcy application in the District Court of Southern Ostrobothnia.

The bankruptcy application has been filed by Ready Const, a subcontractor that has provided project management services and demolition work, and has claims worth more than EUR 373,000, according to the bankruptcy application.

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“The money flow has not gone as agreed and no payments have been received. At the turn of the year, the customer agreed to pay directly, but even that money was not included, ”says the CEO of Ready Const. Harri Valkonen.

President and CEO of J. Rajala Jukka Rajala denies any debt to the subcontractor. According to him, this is a normal dispute.

“That company has received money from what they have had to pay. In addition, there are things that still need to be clarified later, which they may have to replace themselves, ”Rajala reports by e-mail.

According to HS, the project has not been excavated, but the housing is scheduled for completion in 2023. Last autumn, the architectural foundations of the building were renovated, for which a change permit is to be applied for during the spring.

On the other side of the dilapidated construction site is Ressu Primary School. Children on the street are warned about moving children.

Property is marked on the town plan as a commercial building. The City of Helsinki is told that in 2016 it was granted a derogation decision and a building permit, which will enable the construction of apartments.

The building, completed in 1966, was designed by an architect Ilmo Valjakka. Valjaka’s other works include Yle’s former main building in Iso Paja Pasila and the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kamppi.

The dilapidated plot has caused outrage among the residents of the area. Is it acceptable for the cityscape that a property in a central location is deteriorating from year to year?

Head of the City of Helsinki’s property development team Ilkka Aaltonen says it cannot take a position because it is not a plot of land owned by the city. According to Aaltonen, the city is quite hands-free in matters concerning private plots.

“If the property is in an untidy condition, the building inspectorate may issue orders or prompts to put the matter in order.”

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