Kotka Old Port profiles in Finland as a unique city and county life project. Comparable projects include Portsmouth`s premium outlet center Gunwharf Quays and the Copenhagen Street Food Market Paper Island. Finland is finally getting its first real outlet when the first phase of Kotka Old Port will be opened in the second half of 2019. The construction began in September 2017. Now the old massive warehouses have been dismantled, which frees up space for the construction of the buildings and relocation of the utilities.
Kotka Old Port is a scheme that after completion will attract visitors nationwide. Our target groups are also foreign tourists coming to Helsinki-Vantaa, arriving by cruise ships and ferries and foreign and Russian tourists arriving by car. Especially the Chinese tourists are one of the target groups of Kotka Old Port. A direct ferry connection from St. Petersburg to Kotka Old Port is also planned. “The project with all its elements will create a lot of new busines and cultural and social activity in the Kotka urban area. It will also create thousands of new jobs”, says GVA Sawyer Chairman and the Director of Kotka Old Port Cameron Sawyer.
The background of the founders of Kotka Old Portt has attracted much interest. There are several well-known international developers and investors behind the project.
The project is being developed by the real estate development and consulting company GVA Sawyer, which has 25 years of experience in real estate projects. The British real estate investment firm PCPE has funded a number of real estate projects in Europe. Milligan Retail is also involved in development work and concept design. The founder of Milligan Retail, John Milligan, is well-known as the former JLL`s Head of European Retail and the leader of Europe`s largest outlet developer McArthur Glen. Renting is handled by an Italian company located in Milan, DEA Real Estate, which also consults the project. The founder of this company, Luca d`Ambrosis, is well-known in the Italian fashion world and is a member of the board of directors of the leading European retailer Value Retail. The project is actively supported by the city of Kotka and is coordinated by the Kotka-Hamina regional development company Cursor. The project`s main investor is Coneplace, founded by Dr. Dmitry Borisovich Zimin. He is also the founder and honorary chairman of Vympelcom – the first listed Russian company on the New York Stock Exchange. Dr. Zimin has written several books and is well-known for his charitable activities. He is the only Russian who has been awarded the prestigious charity Carnegie Medal Award.
Kotka Old Port project is a complex reconstruction project in Kotka harbor, combining public and private funding. The project includes public elements such as the sports and events arena and the Southeast Finland University of Applied Sciences, known as XAMK. The Outlet Shopping Center is just one commercial element of this project, which also includes two hotels, several residential buildings, a marina and a street food market.
Leasing of the project is underway
About 70% of the space has already been leased and contracts with international and Nordic operators are in different documentation stages. Tenants include Missoni, Versace Jeans, Genny, Loriblu, Basile, Marville, John Ashfield, Caleffi, Sicily`s Italian Restaurant, Baldinini, Cavalli Class and Luxury Zone. Negotiations are underway with one of the international outlet operators. The agreement will be signed in January 2018.