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Tallinn initiates detailed plan for Ülemiste keskus property and surrounding area

Tallinn initiates detailed plan for Ülemiste keskus property and surrounding area

The Tallinn City Government approved the decision to initiate the detailed planning for the Suur-Sõjamäe 4 property and its vicinity, paving the way for the redevelopment of the shopping center located on the site and the construction of commercial buildings near the intersection of Tartu maantee and Suur-Sõjamäe Street. Additionally, the detailed plan creates the opportunity for future development of a European Park linking the Rail Baltica junction station and the shopping center extensions.

Deputy Mayor Madle Lippus, commenting on the planning, noted that several of Tallinn's newer central areas are linked with shopping centers built in post-restoration Estonia, which are now undergoing significant transformation. "The future of Ülemiste shopping center is tied to the new junction station and campus developments. Tallinn's 2035 development strategy guides that the space for commerce should also be a good public space, and with the initiated planning, we are exploring how to free up a large portion of the property from surface parking and integrate the shopping center with a new, landscaped public space offering various activities," said Lippus. "From the city development perspective, it's crucial that commercial spaces offer more services – a discussion we are also having with Ülemiste center."

The deputy mayor added that this is the initiation of the detailed plan, a principal agreement to proceed with conceptualizing the area, with the creation of the detailed plan still ahead.

The planning area, located in the Lasnamäe and Kesklinn districts, covers just over 13 hectares. The goal of the detailed plan is to provide building rights for the redevelopment and expansion of the shopping center at Suur-Sõjamäe 4 and for the construction of up to five commercial buildings with a maximum of 12 above-ground and 3 underground floors near the intersection of Tartu maantee and Suur-Sõjamäe Street. A multipurpose park area – European Park – is also planned for the site.

To create a people-friendly and environmentally considerate plan, several additional conditions have been set. For example, the buildings adjacent to the European Park must be designed to step down towards the park to ensure adequate sunlight and to diversify urban construction. The ground floors of the park-facing buildings should feature storefront windows and separate pedestrian entrances. At least a 15-meter-wide green area with tall vegetation should be situated in the middle of the park.

Near the Rail Baltica passenger terminal, the planning of architecturally suitable taller buildings may also be considered. Additionally, the possibility of creating a new main entrance for the Rail Baltica terminal, which would connect through escalators, elevators, and internal stairs, the Rail Baltica terminal tunnel and stairway plaza with the levels of Suur-Sõjamäe Street and the European Park adjacent to Ülemiste center, should be considered.

A comprehensive mobility plan that aligns with Tallinn's 2035 development strategy needs to be prepared for the planning area. This includes ensuring the continuity of pedestrian and cyclist pathways and bicycle storage facilities. The detailed plan also requires organizing an architectural competition for both the Tartu maantee side development and the public space to find the best architectural solution, as well as for the European Park area to achieve the best architectural, landscape architectural, and urban planning solution.

Visuals by: Esplan