Tuesday. 31.03.2020
El tiempo

Frustration among foreign entrepreneurs in Puhos shopping center

The city council plans to demolish the mall to replace it with housing blocks.  
Puhos shopping center is located in East Helsinki's neighbourghood (Itäkeskus). Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Puhos shopping center is located in East Helsinki's neighbourghood (Itäkeskus). Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Frustration among foreign entrepreneurs in Puhos shopping center

Foreign entrepreneurs in the Puhos shopping centre are living an uncertain situation. In this commercial area there are many restaurants and stores owned by immigrants, and even a Muslim prayer room, whose owners are now afraid about their future.

According to the Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet, the city council is planning to demolish the shopping center and replace it with housing blocks.

Halal-Meat-shop-in-Puhos-by-Foreigner.fiA Halal butchery in Puhos. Photo: Foreigner.fi

The mall's leasehold ends in December and business owners still do not know what will happen, a situation that has remained unsolved on the last three years. According to HBL, some city councilors have linked the mall to social problems and drugs.

Safety

Helsingin Uutiset informed one week ago that security authorities see the situation in Puhos as very difficult because of the drug dealerships and social problems. "Big players have left the supermarket, and nowadays Puhos is damaging the image of eastern Helsinki as a whole,” said Risto Rautava, Chairman of the Helsinki City Planning committee and Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) and a member Helsinki city council.

"I hope we soon find a realistic way to improve the look and safety of the mall. I think it is important that we make the area more comfortable and safe," commented Rautava to Helsingin Uutiset.

Future options

However, not all Helsinki politicians think so. The leader of the Left Alliance council group, Anna Vuorjoki, thinks Puhos's lease could be extended for a fixed period.

"I hope the city will consider future options in consultation with the current actors in Puhos," she said.

Restaurant-cafe-Puhos-by-Foreigner.fiA restaurant and cafe owned by immigrants in Puhos. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki (Green League) does not believe in a lightning fast solution: "It is a complex equation of entrepreneurship, construction history and economics."

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