Office vacancy rates in July 2014 – Miki Shoji

Mercros Bldg Tamachi Front Bldg
Mercros Building (left) and Tamachi Front Building (right)

According to Miki Shoji’s office report, the office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s five central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) was 6.20% in July, down 0.25 points from the previous month and down 2.09 points from last year. This is the lowest level seen since March 2009 when vacancy rates were 6.05%.

The vacancy rate in brand new buildings was 17.41%, down 0.68 points from the previous month but up 4.69 points from last year.

The following office buildings were completed in July:

  • Mercros Building, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku: 9 floors; 6,980 sqm floorspace.
  • Tamachi Front Building, Shiba, Minato-ku: 9 floors; 5,730 sqm floorspace.
  • PMO Shiba Koen, Minato-ku: 8 floors; 3,500 sqm floorspace.

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Mitsubishi Jisho to start renovating old office buildings

Mitsubishi Jisho Office Renovation 3Mitsubishi Jisho Residence announced that they are entering the building renovation business. With the cooperation of their subsidiary MEC eco LIFE Co. as well as Real Tokyo Estate, Mitsubishi plan to rent entire buildings from owners, carry out refurbishments, including earthquake-retrofitting, and then offer the newly made-over spaces for rent.

The owners of older office buildings can have a difficult time attracting tenants and such buildings tend to have high vacancy rates. As such, landlords of buildings with little-to-no rental income are less inclined to carry out renovations on their own.

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Pembroke to redevelop site opposite Tokyo Midtown

Pembroke Real Estate will soon be embarking on their first redevelopment project in Japan – a 14-storey retail/commercial building in Roppongi 7 Chome. The site is in a prime position alongside Gaien-Higashi Dori Avenue and directly across from Tokyo Midtown.

The 4,000 sqm development site was originally several smaller parcels of land. Pembroke began purchasing the various buildings from around 2007 onwards. The site temporarily housed the ‘Mercedes Benz Connection’ concept showroom and is located next door to a building housing the headquarters of the Inakawa-gai yakuza group.

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Chongryon headquarters back on the auction block

The Chongryon headquarters and North Korean de facto embassy building in Tokyo will be put up for public auction for a second time in early October.

The building and land was first listed for auction in March 2013. It made headlines after the winning bidder – the chief priest of a Kagoshima-based buddhist temple – failed to come up with the money for his 4.5 billion Yen bid.

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Nihonbashi office conversion provides solution to vacancy woes

Renovation company Haptic Co. collaborated with interior design and furnishing company Idee to convert a 24-year old office building in Nihonbashi into residential apartments.

The 7-storey Nihonbashi M&K Building was built in 1989. The owners of the ageing building were having difficulty attracting commercial tenants. Converting the building to residential use was less than a third of the estimated cost of rebuilding.

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Asakusa’s Ryounkaku Tower to be revived

Asakusa’s Ryounkaku Tower is going to make a reappearance as a new theatre under construction will feature a facade replicating the original historic tower.

The Maruhan Shochiku Rokku Tower is scheduled to open in December 2014. At 48 meters tall, it will be 4 meters shorter than the original tower.

The Ryounkaku was a 12-storey octagonal tower built in 1890. It was designed by British engineer William Kinnimond Burton, who spent most of his career in Japan. The first 10 floors were brick, while the top observation floors were wood.

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Konami acquires Hotel Seiyo Ginza building

Gaming company Konami Corporation have purchased the Hotel Seiyo Ginza building from Tokyo Theatres for 17.8 billion Yen (180 million USD). Konami plans to convert the hotel into commercial space to be used as gaming development offices. Some of their 3,000 staff in Roppongi will relocate to the Ginza location. They will also develop event spaces which can be used to hold gaming conventions.

The 12 storey building has a total floor area of approximately 19,000 sqm (204,000 sqft) and is on a 2254 sqm block of land. The hotel was opened at the beginning of Japan’s bubble in 1987. The 77-room hotel was the first in Japan to offer concierge services. In 2000, Seiyo Corporation filed for bankruptcy and the building was sold to Tokyo Theatres Co.

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Matsuzakaya Ginza Department Store to close after 89 years

The Matsuzakaya Ginza Department Store will close its doors on June 30 as the site it occupies is going to be redeveloped.

The department store opened in Ginza the year following the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923, and is the oldest department store in the famed shopping district. At the height of Japan’s bubble in 1990, annual sales reached 54 billion Yen. However, revenues began to drop due to growing competition from other department stores, including Mitsukoshi, Matsuya and Printemps Ginza, and an influx of fast fashion retailers.  By 2013, sales were down to 10.2 billion Yen.

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Office vacancy rates in April – Miki Shoji

According to Miki Shoji’s Office Report for April, 2013, vacancy rates improved but rents continued to fall. The office vacancy rate in Tokyo’s central business districts (Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya) dropped by 0.02 points to 8.54%. This is the second month of decline. The vacancy rate in brand new buildings was 17.31%, down 5.93 points from last month.

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