Development of a historic building, Sale of residential building right and Tenant representation

FELM´s long term activity aims to promote human dignity and justice around the world. FELM currently has operations in 30 countries with more than 100 partner churches and organisations.

The premises project in a nutshel

FELM decided to sell their headquarter premises at Tähtitorninkatu in Helsinki and the sale was completed in the first quarter of 2018. FELM’s office premises included approximately 100 workstations. Prior to sale, the process of changing the zoning from office to residential use was initiated. New modern office premises for FELM were found from Länsi-Pasila in Helsinki.

Starting point

FELM’s headquarter premises were located in a 100-year-old building in Ullanlinna. The layout was inefficient and every workstation required circa 30 sqm. Based on this FELM’s annual meeting in 2015 decided to divest the property. Originally the property had been in residential use, therefore, the zoning change process was initiated to convert the old office back to residential. The demand for luxury apartments in Ullanlinna was evident, however, the change would require a zoning process and special construction expertise.

The sale of the property

FELM is used to do things themselves, however, this time it was decided to use external assistance to carry out the important sale of the property. Ecorum was chosen through a bidding competition to prepare the sales strategy, the sales material, contact investors and lead the negotiations with the purchasers. During the sales process circa 40 carefully chosen investors were contacted. This resulted circa 10 indicative bids out of which three were chosen to final rounds.

New premises

Ecorum also assisted FELM in finding new efficient office premises. Ecorum scouted the market and provided potential premises alternatives and assisted in lease agreement and refurbishment negotiations. FELM moved into new refurbished premises in Länsi-Pasila in April 2018. The working environment changed to modern multispace premises. Martela was chosen as the interior designer. The new premises are very efficient with circa 1.400 sqm of leasable space. The need for leasable space was reduced by half compared to FELM’s former headquarter premises although the number of workspaces remained the same.

Did the process succeed and how was the cooperation?

Mr Juha Savela, CFO of FELM had the responsibility to run the sale and premises project. He had started at FELM in 2016.

“I knew Ecorum from the past and was very pleased when we received a competitive offer from them in the bidding competition. Now as the project is completed I can say that we received significant financial advice and other assistance which in value was many times the fee. The project succeeded and based on peer group information we got an excellent price on the sale of the property. The success of this project affects FELM’s activity and operational preconditions positively for a long time.”

“Also, a big plus comes from our new efficient office premises. Ecorum assisted us through the whole process from searching alternative premises until the move in. Although the refurbishment was slightly delayed, the situation was solved positively. Instead of placing employees to several floors in an old building, we are currently placed on one floor. For the moment premises suit us and work well, although we have less than 50% of the former space available, continues Juha Savela, CFO.”

Juha Savela

- CFO, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission