The largest retail and entertainment centre in the Finnish city of Tampere will open its doors in the Ratina district. The shopping centre consists of three separate buildings – Ratinan Kulma, Ranta-Ratina, and the newly built Ratina – which will house more than 140 businesses in an area covering 53,000 m². This large-scale project is significant to AINS Group and Sponda, the developer, as well as the City of Tampere and its residents. The project partners made a strong commitment to the shared goals, and, as a result of their concerted efforts, the new centre is slated for completion as planned.
In retail centre projects, sticking to the schedule is essential because the centre has to be opened within a specific time window for it to be commercially viable. Large projects, particularly shopping centres, are challenging with regard to the budget and schedule because the details of the project only become clear as the work progresses.
‘As a result of collaboration between AINS Group and Sponda, Ratina will be completed on time and will meet all the quality criteria set for it. The main thing for us is to ensure that our customers will be able to move to their new premises as agreed and we can fulfil our promise. The project costs have also pretty much remained within the investment framework,’ explains Sponda’s Senior Vice President Veli-Pekka Tanhuanpää.
We tackled all the challenges and risks together. Success like this is possible only when all parties, regardless of company or role, pull together and work towards a joint goal. Everybody must keep an eye on the ball, and that’s where we’ve succeeded.
AINS Group’s strong expertise and the seamless collaboration between the parties contributed to successful troubleshooting
The Ratina project was challenging not only because of its size but also because of the location and ground conditions. The new facility is located in the city centre, which meant having to change the route of one street. The project also involved work in the immediate vicinity of the central bus station and underneath it. In addition, an important transport route, the ring road that encircles the city, runs close to the worksite, and it was essential to keep traffic running smoothly. The expertise of AINS Group’s street and traffic engineers and the geotechnical and foundation engineering teams played a considerable part in finding solutions for these challenges.
In addition, Sponda is extremely happy with the work performed by AINS Group’s structural engineering unit. The project involved various structural challenges, such as the design of 30 metres of tensioned bridge structures.
‘For us, it was important that AINS Group’s structural engineering team was based in Tampere. They were on hand to help with any problems that cropped up and needed to be resolved quickly,’ explains Tanhuanpää.
Ratina constitutes AINS Group’s largest construction management project to date. With the work divided into several smaller projects, the number of subcontractors with a direct contractual relationship to the developer was high. This resulted in specific challenges for construction and project management.
‘We acted as an extra pair of hands and offered additional brain power to the developer. We succeeded in solving challenges related to the complex foundation requirements and other technical problems in collaboration with the developer,’ explains Unto Hartikainen, AINS Group’s director of construction management.
The key to success is open communications with the client, particularly in projects that are as complex and as extensive as this. Trust emerges as the work progresses, and it is strengthened when any problems or challenges that emerge are addressed successfully.
A vibrant city centre is a pull factor for the entire region
Tampere is among Finland’s most attractive cities, and the new Ratina centre will contribute to its draw and growth. The goal for the project was to bring the underdeveloped Ratina district to life and liven up the southern part of the city centre. Offering a boost to the local economy and business scene, the new shopping centre will also contribute to the creation of new jobs in the region.
‘Businesses have shown great interest in the rental premises, and we have already found tenants for all the bigger spaces. We are pleased about having succeeded in attracting new companies to the Tampere region. More than a third of the businesses coming to Ratina are new operators in Tampere,’ says Tanhuanpää.
The joint project resulted in a vibrant addition to Tampere’s urban environment and culture that will act as a pull factor for the entire region.