Soihtu assisting students to put down roots in Jyväskylä

Article picture: Anssi Kumpula

Text: Kimmo Moilanen | Picture: Petteri Kivimäki

Kimmo Moilanen

People living in Jyväskylä find themselves in a fortunate situation because Jyväskylä is a growing city. The prognoses are looking good since they are saying that the growth should continue in the future as well. Quality places of study, nature close by and suitable distances are pull factors of Jyväskylä compared to other growth centres. In addition to a workplace, reasonably priced apartments and pleasant neighbourhoods are important considerations for students when they ponder on the place where they are going to live in after graduating. The remote work that we have been learning during the last couple of years has been improving sufficiency of employment in the area. However, neighbourhoods are still realized locally.

Kortepohja Student Village is constantly being developed

Soihtu has actively been developing Kortepohja Student Village towards this day for a couple of years already. By renovating buildings and outdoor areas and by developing services for tenants and for the whole area we are moving towards a more pleasant neighbourhood. The Student Village has too maintained its competitiveness with the studio apartments offered by private landlords in the city centre. However, we cannot be lulled into the current situation, but Soihtu has to aim at keeping our eyes on the future. The view in the famous crystal ball is the dimmer the further one tries to look. Soihtu’s position as a part of the Student Union JYY owned by students, however, makes it possible to include fresh ideas in the real estate business that is considered rather conservative. Soihtu’s strategy work includes involving students both as decision-makers and customers.

Soihtu is involved in developing the centre of Kortepohja

The city planning of Kortepohja centre has progresses to the outline stage. Soihtu has been an active developer of the area to develop the whole city district. It is not possible to do it alone but in general, active developing is needed from one or more operators to get the ball rolling. Luckily, the city of Jyväskylä and other big real estate owners on the area have also expresses their will to develop Kortepohja. Co-operation is a strength also in this matter.

New services

The public services in Kortepohja are developing due to the city’s significant investment in the school and day-care center. There is also aspiration to maintain and develop the commercial services on the area. Business premises too have been planned around the new centre square. Soihtu and Osuuskauppa Keskimaa have a current letter of intent to carry out a grocery store in the area. Soihtu is also prepared to take operators of the area in its own spaces. Functioning close-by services combined with good transport connections make it possible to develop lively and pleasant neighbourhoods.

More alternatives for housing

There have been plans to add planning permission for the northern lot of Soihtu’s Student Village, which means more tenants. All the new apartments have not been planned for Soihtu’s use, however. The aspiration of the city and Soihtu is to diversify the housing stock of the area by bringing owner-occupied housing and right of occupancy housing as an addition to student rental housing. This way it would be possible for Soihtu’s tenants to stay in Kortepohja and to move forward on the housing path and change to a housing form that is suited for the situation in life around the end of their studies or after graduation.

The goal is to increase permanent residency in Jyväskylä

Appeal of permanent residence in Jyväskylä, which in a city like Jyväskylä is busy with students, describes the proportion of students that stay in town after graduating, is an important term to describe the competitiveness of the area. The appeal of permanent residency is something that Soihtu, with other operators of the city, wants to increase by creating cosy and lively neighbourhoods with good services and a suitable form of housing for everybody in contrast to the biggest and the most crowded cities

The writer works as Soihtu’s Chief real estate officer

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