The homeowners association of the vintage Shuwa Aoyama Residence condominium near Shibuya Station is considering a potential redevelopment. The 8-story building was built in 1964 and has 77 apartments.
This was the very first of the ‘Shuwa Residence’ series of apartments. They were developed by Shuwa Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy in 2000. The earlier buildings are easily identified by their often blue tiled roofs and white stucco exteriors, although the Aoyama one is quite different in design. Despite the age of many of these buildings, they have somewhat of a cult following. When these buildings were first developed in the 1960s, buying a privately-developed apartment was somewhat of a luxury for most consumers. They were considered upscale for the time, with Andalusian-style decor, iron railings, and hotel-like entrances.
The last apartment to appear for sale in this building was listed for around 2,000,000 Yen/sqm in late 2017. Between the late 1990s and early 2010s, apartments were selling for around 450,000 ~ 570,000 Yen/sqm.
The building was designed by Yoshinobu Ashihara, the architect behind the Ginza Sony Building (now demolished), and the Komazawa Gymnasium.
The proposed redevelopment would result in an 87-meter tall, 26-story apartment building with construction to start in late 2021 and completion tentatively scheduled for early 2025.
Condo redevelopments are often a difficult and long-drawn-out process due to several factors. First of all, at least 4/5ths of the apartment owners must agree to the redevelopment. This can sometimes prove close-to-impossible when there are elderly residents who have no desire to move out or be bought out. The financial cost is another issue. Either the homeowners association has to have the funds available to pay for the reconstruction themselves, or they need to bring on a developer who can sell the new floorspace created to fund the project. Creating extra floor space for a developer to sell is only possible in rarer cases where the older building is much smaller than what current zoning allows.
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