Construction starts on Aoyama Bell Commons redevelopment

Construction has started on a 20-storey commercial building on the site of the former Aoyama Bell Commons building in the Omotesando / Gaienmae area in Tokyo. Completion is due by April 2020.

The 90m tall Kita Aoyama 2 Chome Project will include retail on the first two floors, a hotel on floors 3, 4 and floors 16 through 20, and office and co-working space on floors 5 through 15. The total floor area will be 22,910 sqm, approximatley 50% larger than Aoyama Bell Commons, while the new building will be almost twice as tall.

The hotel will be operated by Plan Do See Inc, a hospitality company headquartered in Tokyo, and will have 42 guest rooms ranging from 30 ~ 60 sqm (323 ~ 646 sq ft). The top floor will have a rooftop restaurant and bar.

The former Aoyama Bell Commons shopping center was developed by apparel company Suzuya in 1976 and designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa. Suzuya was a leading casual fashion store in the 1960s and 1970s, reaching a peak in 1988 with 300 stores across the country and factories in Hong Kong. Excessive loans and reduced revenues saw them file for bankruptcy in the late 1990s.

In 1985 the building and land was purchased by a Japanese life insurance company for 24 billion Yen in what was the largest real estate sale to have ever taken place at that time. In 2012 it was sold to a US-based fund and a Japanese real estate investment firm under a joint venture. Mitsubishi acquired the property in early 2015 and demolished the building in 2016.

Sources:
Mitsubishi Estate News Release, December 11, 2017.
R.E.Port, December 11, 2017.