Press release 7 October 2013 at 1:15 pm, 2013-10-07 12:15 CEST (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

 Rapid progress is being made in the expansion and redevelopment project for the IsoKristiina Shopping Centre and construction works for the new Lappeenranta City Theatre premises. The new building’s foundation stone was laid today, 7 October, in a ceremony held on the projects’ joint construction site.

 The event was organised by Citycon and Ilmarinen (joint owners of the IsoKristiina Shopping Centre), the City of Lappeenranta (the owner of the theatre premises) and Skanska (the construction company responsible for executing the shopping centre extension).

 Residents of Lappeenranta were invited to the ceremony, offering them a chance to see the largest construction site in Southeast Finland.

 IsoKristiina will be an internationally unique retail complex, with the new premises of the Lappeenranta City Theatre located entirely inside the shopping centre – a combination found nowhere else in the world.

 Mayor of Lappeenranta Kimmo Jarva says the new theatre premises will reinforce Lappeenranta’s reputation as a broad-minded cultural city, and underline its position as the urban centre of the region. Merging these projects will create savings in construction costs, and in maintenance costs at a later stage.

 “Looking at our long-term development prospects, we can say that Lappeenranta is exceptionally well placed. Tourist flows are expected to increase, creating new jobs in the service sector. By combining the theatre construction project and IsoKristiina’s extension, we will make the city centre more attractive and diversify our service offering. It is local residents who will primarily benefit from a wide range of services and greater vibrancy in the region,” explains Jarva.

 Harri Holmström, Citycon’s Chief Operating Officer, says that the IsoKristiina Shopping Centre will become a versatile indoor urban space in the heart of Lappeenranta, providing culture and retail outlets, cafes, restaurants and other services. In addition to the theatre, IsoKristiina will contain a Finnkino cinema complex.

 “You can gauge the attractiveness of the project by the strong demand for new retail premises,” Holmström points out.

 Tomi Aimonen, the real estate director of Ilmarinen, is pleased that the project management team has been able to execute the vision of renewed IsoKristiina in co-operation with the city of Lappeenranta and with the neighbours of IsoKristiina.

 “IsoKristiina has already a well-established position as a shopping centre. After being renewed, it will provide even wider services to the customers in Lappeenranta area as well as to the shopping or culture tourists,” Aimonen says.

 The expanded and fully modernised IsoKristiina Shopping Centre will be opened in two stages, in May and October 2015. Lappeenranta City Theatre will move to its new premises at the end of 2015.

 Citycon and Ilmarinen are investing around 100 million euros in the redevelopment and expansion of the existing shopping centre. After its completion, IsoKristiina’s leasable area will increase from the current 21,000 square metres to 34,000 square metres. The new city theatre premises will be owned by the City of Lappeenranta. Construction of the theatre costs approximately 20.15 million euros, of which four million euros are state funding.

 Skanska Talonrakennus is responsible for the expansion and redevelopment works in the shopping centre. The City of Lappeenranta is arranging a separate tendering process for the theatre’s construction works, with the decision on the contractor still pending.


 For further information, please contact:

 The City of Lappeenranta, Mayor Kimmo Jarva, tel. +358 40 844 2000

 Citycon Oyj, Chief Operating Officer Harri Holmström,

 tel. +358 40 845 5726

 Ilmarinen, Real Estate Director Tomi Aimonen,

 tel. +358 50366 7501