International team of key developers give the final go-ahead for the construction of Finland’s first waterfront premium brand outlet site.
Appeals against the city plans have now been withdrawn. The construction work at Kotka harbor started with the removal of old railroad tracks.
On Monday 25 April the key developers of the Kotka Old Port Designer Outlet project gathered at the waterfront to raise a toast to the go-ahead for clearance work at the Old Port construction site.
Cameron Sawyer, CEO of GVA Sawyer and the main developer of Kotka Old Port, summed up the thoughts of the hard-working development team: ”This is a historical moment for Kotka and a unique step towards an outlet concept that is totally new in Finland. It is much more than a collection of top international fashion outlet brands. Soon we can publish a list of hotel, restaurant, spa, cruise and other companies, that will breathe new life to the Old Port, Finland’s first premium brand outlet site on a waterfront. There are always many twists and turns in a giant project like this. But now we know that the first phase of construction will be completed at the beginning of 2018.”
Henry Lindelöf, Mayor of Kotka, is grateful for the perseverance of the developers. ”It was crucial for our project, that the developers have vast experience in bringing premium outlet concepts to Europe. This project will raise Kotka to the front row of European premium outlet cities. It will certainly make our city more appealing for visitors both from near and far.”
The new outlet centre will be located in the central seaside city of Kotka, only a few hours away from St Petersburg as well as major Finnish cities and airports. 1.2 million Finns live within a 90 minutes drive; the Greater St. Petersburg area counts for more than 5 million inhabitants and in a normal year 10.3 million crossings at the Russian border.
According to Mr Sawyer, the withdrawal of the appeals against the city plans was an important signal for the future tenants: ”We are swiftly filling in our rent books for the premium outlet shops. Now, we are choosing our contractor for construction work.”
Photos: Tommi Mattila
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The Developing partners of the Kotka Old Port Designer Outlet Village
CEO Cameron Sawyer, is the lead developer of the Kotka Old Port project, GVA Sawyer, founded in 1993, a member of GVA Worldwide, is the developer of the first outlet mall in Russia, Fashion House Moscow, and has nearly 20 years of experience developing various projects in Moscow, St Petersburg and the Russian regions. These include high-profile projects such as the former headquarters of the United Nations in Russia in Moscow. Two GVA Sawyer projects have been the subject of Harvard Business School cases.
Development partner John Milligan, CEO at Milligan, founded the specialist retail development company in 2002. At the heart of the Milligan philosophy is a passion and drive to create places where people are inspired to shop.
From 1983 to 2002, John was an International Director at Jones Lang LaSalle. He set up and led the company’s European retail group which consisted of over 250 people advising clients on 2.5 million square meters of shopping centre space. He was also chairman of the JLL global retail group. John worked for 10 years alongside McArthurGlen to introduce American style outlet centers into Europe as well as helping to bring Costco and Starbucks to the UK.
Kitebrook Partners Property development and investment expert, US
Byrne Murphy, Kitebrook’s founding partner, brought outlet shopping to Europe more than 20 years ago. He is the author of the book “Le Deal” which tells the story of his adventures building the first outlet mall in Europe and bringing McArthurGlen outlet centers to the European market. Murphy’s former company McArthurGlen is the dominant outlet mall operator in Europe with 20 designer outlets in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK.
DEA Real Estate Advisor, Italy
DEA is an independent company leader in the real estate field that offers services of strategic advisory, retail investment and intermediation, especially focused on luxury. The Company has an internationally experienced team of professionals that work proficiently both in Italy and abroad. DEA’s main clients are leading developers and high end/premium brands (both Italian and international). The team is committed in some important projects of retail development in foreign countries such as Finland, Italy, Spain, the UAE and China. The total GLA of the projects DEA is currently involved reaches approx. 400.000 sq/m. 16 July 2015
Luca de Ambrosis Ortigara, Founder and Managing Partner at DEA, sits in the Value Retail management board as European Executive Director. Luca was previously MD at McArthurGlen Italia and European Head of Leasing at McArthurGlen, Head of the Italian Retail Department at Cushman & Wakefield and Director of the Real Estate Services at Pirelli Real Estate.
PCPE Property Capital Partners Europe, real estate investment manager and financier, UK
Gerald Parkes, one of Europe’s most prominent real estate investment managers and financiers. He was Head of European Real Estate Private Equity at Lehman Brothers and prior to that he was the CEO of Invesco’s European Real Estate Group. Parkes has advised on multiple billions of retail real estate development and investment. He was the initiator of the Bluewater Shopping Centre in the UK and head of retail planning.
AHR architectural practices, UK
AHR is one of Europe’s largest practices in outlet village architecture and has evolved into an international business encompassing 450 staff in 12 offices. Good design is driven by their collective passion to explore the art of what is possible, irrespective of a project’s size or complexity. AHR has significant expertise in designing multi-layered retail environments which provide social, commercial and recreational opportunities for a mix of user groups and communities.
DTZ Finland Oy, Finland
DTZ debuted as a top three global commercial real estate services company. The Group has more than 28,000 employees operating across more than 260 offices in 50 countries and $63 billion in transaction volume. DTZ provides property management for 171 million square meters, and facilities management for 124 million square meters.
Kotka Old Port
For further information please contact
Matti Saarinen, Kreab Helsinki
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Jan Erola, Kreab Helsinki
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Samantha Robinson, Milligan
Samantha@milliganretail.com tel: +44 207 297 43 00
Cameron Sawyer, GVA Sawyer
CSawyer@gvasawyer.com tel: +7 903 723 4816
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