Developer Citycon says it hopes to transform the Rocca al Mare shopping mall in Tallinn into both a high-rise residential area and a commercial center. The shopping mall itself will remain, while the development will mirror similar properties the company has developed in Finland.
Kristjan Maaroos, manager of Citycon's centers in Estonia, told ERR that to improve the availability and accessibility of the services of the Rocca al Mare shopping mall and to develop the area, to the west of Tallinn city center, the company has submitted a detailed plan to authorities in the capital which would transform the property into a combined living and business environment.
Maaroos said: "In the future, in addition to the shopping center, our property would also house office buildings, apartment blocks, various service centers and a more pedestrian-friendly urban space than up to now. The main building would be taller and more diverse, and parking would be organized in under-floor parking garages."
The detailed plan Citycon wishes to draw up would provide for buildings up to 14 floors in height, along with a five-floor addition to the existing mall (see gallery).
The basis of this detailed plan is to create complete living environments which are both sustainable and create economic and added social value, he added.
Citycon says it hopes for fruitful cooperation with Tallinn City Government in regard to the development. "The best examples of the realization of this vision are the Iso Omena and Lippulaiva centers in Finland, also owned by Citycon, which are way markers for the future of shopping centers across Europe. Both centers are also great examples of cooperation between a private developer and local government, as the centers host a number of services provided by the public and private sectors – for instance a library , a municipal service center, a kindergarten, a health center and a sports club."
"Our goal is to bring this best practice to Estonia, if possible, and to consolidate public services at the renewed Rocca al Mare center," Maaroos added.
In order for the cooperation to progress smoothly, the developer has offered the city of Tallinn the opportunity to also install a bus terminal within the center (see gallery). This, it is argued, would reduce congestion in the district, while public transport users would also benefit from a weatherproof bus terminal at the heart of the Rocca al Mare mall, along with access to supporting services.
Citycon says it hopes that, according to the City of Tallinn planning process goals, it will be viable to establish a detailed plan in less than three years. Since the volume of the project is large, the development takes place in stages.
"The construction duration can be planned for a period of around five years, but if the market supports it, hopefully the completion time will turn out to be shorter," Maaroos said.
The Roca al Mare plans involve the current addresses: Mõisa tänav 1, Mõisa tänav 3, Paldiski maantee 102, Paldiski maantee 102b, Paldiski maantee 102c.
The development is close to the seashore, to the Open Air Museum, Tallinn Zoo, the Saku Suurhall and other amenities.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel