Helsinki Shopping Center Plans $62.3 Million Refurbishment With New Tenants Like Nike Live

Nike Live will be among the retailers opening later this year at the Itis shopping center in Helsinki.

The 39-year-old property is in the midst of a major redevelopment with the addition of nearly 110,000 square feet that is being leased by new tenants. There is nearly 110,000 square feet of additional space that is under negotiations, according to CC Real, the investment and real estate firm which co-owns and manages the assets of Itis. With 120 stores and 40 restaurants, the shopping mall is one of the largest in the country with 18 million-plus annual shoppers. Finland’s only IMAX theater and 1,600 free parking spaces are part of the draw.

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The addition of a Nike Live store, which is slated to open in November, is part of a nearly $62.3 million renovation plan that is underway at Itis. The first phase involves refurbishing the 14,500-square-foot Bulevardi avenue, which is already one of the longest shopping “streets” in the Nordic countries. Nike Live has secured a corner location there. That is expected to wrap up in November. The second phase will enhance pedestrian traffic flow with upgrades to the communal Tallinn Square, the site’s Rotunda and its Pasaasi area. Due to be completed in 2024, the second phase will involve sprucing up common areas and storefronts and investing in energy efficiency initiatives.

Sirkus Magenta, a circus school that specializes in community development, is one of the new additions to Itis. The 12-year-old company offers circus-type activities for people with special needs as a means of recreation and to strengthen social bonds, mental health and physical wellbeing.

The new Nike Live store will be housed in a nearly 6,500-square-foot space. One of three Nike Live stores planned for Finland, the It is outpost will be rooted in a members-only, multichannel concept that offers digital-driven special services and exclusive events tailored to consumers to enhance digital and in-person engagement. The concept was first unveiled in Los Angeles in 2018.

Nike Live store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Nike Live store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

With one of the world’s highest percentages of people with access to the Internet — 97 percent — Nike’s plans to unveil its digital-driven outpost in Finland adds up. Seventy-two percent of Finns routinely shop online — the majority of which is cross-border e-commerce, according to a WakeUp Data report.

During an interview with WWD last year, Whitney Malkiel, vice president and general manager of Nike global women’s, said, “We have to own our own destiny when it comes to the marketplace, that’s why the push in Nike Direct is important for the business, and that’s where our brick-and-mortar and Nike Live stores become important. But it’s also, how does she want to move through the world from to brick-and-mortar, we’re trying to get that journey, including our investment in digital and data and knowing her better than ever.”

Other brands new to Itis include a New Yorker flagship. Unaffiliated with the Condé Nast magazine with a similar name, New Yorker is a Germany-based fashion brand with 1,150 outposts in 47 countries. Along with Nike Live, another digital-first venture is being led by the electronics retailer Power, which is opening a 3,230-square-foot Power+ store — its first large concept store in Finland. Itis shoppers will be able to buy the LPP-owned Cropp and Sinsay apparel labels. Also new to the scene is the lifestyle and apparel retailer Mosa Interiors, as well as apparel and goods from local start-ups.

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