A Complete Renovation of Jänö

We bought the kiosk in the summer of 2016 from the City of Helsinki, when is auctioned off a few of it’s classic kiosks.

Most of such kiosks around the city have been and are not in use. They do not have running water in the winter time, they don’t have proper plumbing, any ventilations systems nor heating! The city has not upgraded the kiosks up to modern day standards and the short term tenants have not had the possibility nor economic interest to invest into upgrading the kiosks either.

The kiosks that have been sold to private owners are now in a different situation. As the owner of the actual kiosk building, Jänö now has the interest of upgrading it to meet modern requirements.

The lot and the building

We established a new cooperative to own and run the kiosk (and everyone is still welcome to support us by becoming a member). The cooperative now owns the 7,7 square meter kiosk and has a made a 15 year lease of the 35 square meter lot it stands on.

We dismantled the old small terrace that was behind the kiosk in October 2016 to make way for the sewage renovation. We will build a bigger terrace – the size of our whole lot –  after the other renovation phases are ready. By the way, if you have anyone in mind who could help us design a great terrace e.g. as a school project send us a tip!

Building permits for preparing food

In the fall 2016 we made the plans and applied for all the necessary permits to change the kiosk into a year-round modern grill. Our main fear was, whether the building permit for a grease channel through the roof would be accepted. In November we got the final stamps also on the that crucial part of the plan allowing us to implement a full (albeit miniature) restaurant kitchen!

In our popup phase in the late summer of 2016 we had very limited food preparation facilities as we could not deep fry or grill. Now we will have a state-of-the-art hood range, a powered roof ventilator and a big grease separation well. The grease separation system makes sure our kitchen oils are properly recycled and do not contribute to clogging up the municipal sewage system.

The grease separation well before burying it


The grease separation well takes in all the sewage water from the kitchen. A ventilation pipe goes up to the roof and cables for the sensors inside the system are attached to the tracking device inside the kiosk.


Once the grease separation well was in place, a ditch almost 30 meters long was dug up to reach the main sewage and water lines.


Once the municipal water works people attached the sewage and water lines into the main lines, the ditch was covered up.


The whole operation was quickly over


It was covered with a temporary mass until the final asphalt is applied in the spring (when the asphalt stations are open again).

Building Up the Value

Hooking up to the municipal water and sewage system cost us almost as much as the kiosk itself! We paid 30,200€ for the kiosk and about 28,000€ for the sewage and water works. That is a lot – almost 4000€ – per square meter even for an expensive part of town! Now that its hooked up to the municipal system we, however, own a much more valuable building.

Currently 175 shares in Jänö have been subscribed. We used the funds from the subscriptions to buy the kiosk and the profits from our pop up phase to cover the costs of this initial phase in our renovation.

We our now looking for more members to help fund the remaining phases of the renovation; the plumbing installations inside the kiosk, the interior renovation and equipment. The more shares are subscribed, the less loan we need to take to finance the rest of the renovation. The banks are willing to finance the project, but we would rather be as community funded as possible.