Tokyu plans luxury apartments for Niseko

Niseko Tokyu Resort, part of the Tokyu Group and operator of the Niseku Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu ski resort, will be developing a luxury condominium near the ski field.

Construction is scheduled to begin in July, with completion expected at the end of 2016.

Over the years a number of foreign developers have been steadily building smaller condominiums in the Niseko Hirafu area, but this will be the first project in 20 years that can accommodate over 300 residents.

Foreign developers caught by zoning regulations in Niseko

Niseko Grand HirafuDevelopment in parts of Niseko’s ski fields is being stalled due to inconsistencies between national and prefectural government building approvals.

In recent years, a number of hotels in Niseko have been purchased by foreign funds, closed down and in many cases demolished. The foreign developers acquired the hotels with the aim of building condominium-type hotels and resort apartments which would then be sold to wealthy foreigners.

However, a number of these sites have been sitting vacant without any signs of construction.

Why the hold up?

PM companies leaving Hokkaido amid Sapporo office market slump

Several real estate property management companies have begun to close down their offices in Sapporo, Hokkaido, as the local commercial market continues to decline.

At the end of March, Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) will close their Hokkaido branch. Also,  CBRE and the Sumitomo Life Insurance Company will no longer have representatives stationed in Hokkaido. Sumisei Building Management, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Life Insurance, is also closing their office in March as part of cost cutting measures. Sanko Estate currently has one staff member stationed in Hokkaido but all duties will be transferred to Tokyo from spring.

Sweden Hills, Hokkaido

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Planning of the Sweden Hills neighborhood began in 1979 and construction started in 1984. The idea began after the Swedish Ambassador visited Tobetsu Town and remarked how similar the atmosphere and scenery was to his native Sweden. Tobetsu Town’s sister city is Leksand in Dalarna County, Sweden.

Hokkaido to introduce reporting rules regarding the sale of land

Growing concern about foreign funds buying up large tracts of forest and land in Hokkaido has led to the Prefecture drafting legislation to protect water sources in these areas from future development.

By designating specific water resource conservation areas, whenever land is to be sold in one of these areas the seller will be obligated to give advance notification to the Prefecture. Hokkaido plans to have the draft legislation ready by December, 2011, and will submit the plan to the Hokkaido Prefecture Assembly by February, 2012.