The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which has been stationed in Helsinki since 2007, moves into new premises in Telakkaranta in the beginning of 2020. The Agency is currently located at Annankatu in Helsinki.
ECHA and Skanska have today on 4 December signed a rental agreement for the new premises. ECHA's eight-storey office building will be located at Telakkakatu 6, in the very heart of the Telakkaranta area. The old brick-built wood workshop building, whose external envelope has been protected, will remain inside and a part of the new building. Moreover, the adjacent protected old machine shop building will be completely overhauled and it will become a convention and event centre. There will be a passage between the two buildings. The building complex will have a total of approximately 17,500 square metres of rentable spaces.
Skanska, which owns the Telakkaranta plot areas, has developed the Telakkaranta area in cooperation with the City of Helsinki since 2006.
"I am happy to be able to sign the agreement concerning the new and inspiring premises for ECHA's use. It is great that as an EU Agency, we can take part in the development of a historic industrial area in the Helsinki city centre. This is a truly European project, where experts from several European countries have participated in the planning, management and construction", says ECHA Executive Director Geert Dancet.
"I am very pleased that ECHA chose us among a number of alternatives as the developer of their new office premises. The project shows that our capability to participate in projects of this magnitude, both as an investor and a realiser, gives us an undisputed competitive edge", says Skanska Oy CEO Tuomas Särkilahti.
"When it comes to the premises project, there is a close dialogue between ECHA and the City, which we hope will ensure a smooth transition and continuation of the operations. ECHA's premises project launches the construction phase of the renewal project for the entire Telakkaranta area, which will see the last old industrial area in the inner city of Helsinki go through a transformation into an area for the purposes of housing, business and urban culture", says Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.
The European Chemicals Agency is an agency of the European Union, responsible for the implementation of the EU's chemicals legislation. ECHA helps ensure that chemicals are used safely and that human health and the environment is protected while the competitiveness of the European industry sector is enhanced. ECHA is one of the biggest agencies of the European Union and its personnel represents 26 different EU nationalities.
ECHA employs around 650 experts from different parts of Europe. Together with their families, they form a large expatriate community in Helsinki. ECHA provides valuable information of the internationalisation of Helsinki and the integration and everyday lives of people who have moved here.
ECHA is important to Helsinki from an economic development perspective as well. ECHA brings a lot of other things relating to its domain to Helsinki. The annual number of visitors to the events arranged by the agency is more than 12,000.