Built on top of an existing railroad station, the Mall of Tripla claims to be the largest in the Nordics with 250 shops and leisure facilities.
One third of the population of Finland can reach the center within a half-hour travel time by road or rail. Besides parking space for 2,300 automobiles, the mall offers a safe stopover for 3,400 bicycles at a time.
The Finnish retail scene has seen mall failures in recent years, and not all industry experts have predicted an easy future for the venture.
As e-commerce is gradually snatching the clothing and cosmetics business, daily groceries sales are seen as vital for the overall turnover of the Mall of Tripla.
It also features leisure services including cinemas and restaurants. At the bottom floor, 25 meters below the surface, a large space offers ocean style surfing in a large cascade, and beach volleyball on real sand.
The tourism management of City of Helsinki sees the mall as a major facelift for the fair and convention services.
Vappu Manty, the head of communications at Helsinki Marketing, told Xinhua that the Helsinki Exhibition Center, within walking distance, had suffered from a lack of sufficient hotel space and restaurants in the vicinity so far. A new hotel in the complex of the mall can accommodate now a thousand guests.
The one and a half billion euro project was completed one year ahead of schedule.