Two floors in ARK Hills sell for 3 billion Yen

Two floors in ARK Mori Building – the office tower in the ARK Hills complex located in central Tokyo – have been acquired by Heiwa Real Estate REIT. Heiwa paid 3.085 billion Yen (approx. 29 million USD) for the trust beneficiary rights to the 30th and 31st floors from an unnamed seller.

The total size of the two floors is 6,797 sqm (73,000 sq.ft), with a net lettable area of 5,550 sqm (60,000 sq.ft). Mori Building has a master lease agreement that continues over to the new owner. Due to the privacy terms of this agreement, the rent has not been disclosed.

In December 2016, Kenedix Office Investment Corporation acquired the beneficiary rights to the 34th and 35th floors in ARK Mori Building for 4.169 billion Yen. The assumed capitlization rate was 3.8%.

When this building was built in the 1980s, the ceilings were insulated using wet-sprayed rock wool insulation containing asbestos. Sprayed asbestos was commonly used between 1956 and 1989 on buildings and factories with a floor space over 1,000 sqm. Out of all the prefectures in Japan, Osaka is at the top with 622 buildings containing this form of asbestos. Tokyo is in second place with 437 buildings. In 1975, spray-on asbestos was banned but it continued to be used in a smaller concentration in rock wool insulation until 1988. Rock wool insulation containing up to 1% asbestos was in use up until 1995.

The ARK Hills complex was developed in 1986 by Mori Building. It includes the 144m tall, 37-storey ARK Mori Building, ARK Towers (residential apartments), Suntory Hall, the ANA Intercontinental Hotel, TV Asahi ARK Broadcast Center, retail and restaurants. At the time of its completion it was the largest urban redevelopment project in Japan to have been carried out by a private company. Many of the original tenants in the 1980s were foreign capital and trading firms who had chosen the building as their Asian headquarters. By the 2000s, a number of these major financial had relocated to other buildings in Tokyo.

The redevelopment process began in 1967, taking almost 20 years to complete – as is the case with many of the large-scale redevelopment projects in Tokyo. Mori Building patiently bought up the small lots from various homeowners in the neighborhood, which was once a low-rise and densely packed district. They faced strong opposition from many landowners, making the process both time-consuming and challenging. In 1974 a plan was floated for a 56-storey office tower but revised in 1976 due to the oil crisis.

The name ARK came from Akasaka and Roppongi, and ‘Knot’ which symbolized the joining of these two neighborhoods. For the first 10 years following its completion, the ARK Hills complex was somewhat isolated from public transport, with Tameikesanno Station opening in 1997 and Roppongi Itchome Station opening in 2000.

A heliport is located on the top of the ARK Mori Building. It was featured in a scene in the 2010 movie Inception.

Location

1-12-12 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Sources:
Heiwa Real Estate REIT News Release, March 15, 2018.
Kenedix Office Investment Corporation Financial Results Briefing, December 15, 2016.