Office rents on the rise as Shibuya returns as Japan’s IT hub

The major redevelopment projects currently underway around Shibuya Station are, as expected, pushing up office rents. The announcement that Google Japan will relocate their head office to the recently completed Shibuya Steam building next year has heralded the return of Shibuya as Japan’s ‘Bit Valley’ and has been the driving force behind the district’s booming office market.

Former apartment building in Omotesando to be redeveloped into retail

The vintage Minami Aoyama 571 apartment building in Omotesando has been demolished to make way for a retail store. The former building was privately developed in 1988 with 4 apartments over 4 floors. Back in early 2015 a full floor apartment was listed for sale for approximately 270 million Yen – a relative steal since it included a 130 sqm share of the land. Unfortunately several of our clients passed on this opportunity.

Mitsukoshi to close historic department store in Niigata

Niigata City is losing major retail players due to a declining population and a shift in consumer habits towards online shopping and larger suburban malls. On September 26, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings announced the planned closure of their Mitsukoshi Department Store in the city by March 2020. The closure is expected to worsen the decline in the city center’s retail district.

LaSalle buys Midosuji Front Tower

On October 3, LaSalle Investment Management, headquartered in Chicago, announced the purchase of Midosuji Front Tower in Osaka’s Umeda district through their Frontier Property LLC, signalling the end of the building’s 8 year vacancy. The sale price was not disclosed.

Midosuji Front Tower was completed in 2010. It has sat vacant ever since due to a dispute between the owners.

1000 room hotel for Osaka’s Umeda district

On August 7, Hankyu Hanshin Holdings announced plans to open a 1,000 room hotel in Yodobashi Umeda Tower – a 35-storey redevelopment adjacent to the Yodobashi electronics store in Umeda, Osaka. The first 8 floors of the building will be retail, with the hotel located on floors 9 and above. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2020, with the lower-floor retail to open in late 2019. This will be the largest hotel based on room count in Osaka City.