Hanamaki City in Iwate Prefecture will be demolishing an 86-year old traditional house and former restaurant this year. Several attempts have been made at finding a suitable use for the existing building, but to no avail.
The two-story wooden building was built in 1935 as a combined shop and residence. It operated as the Manpuku restaurant until 2010. In 2013, the city agreed to buy the 3,840 sqm lot of land for 58 million Yen, with the seller donating the 1,324 sqm house for free. The city had to spend a further 30.8 million Yen in repairs. However, bringing it up to code to make it open for public use would require an exorbitant amount spent on earthquake retrofitting, installing fire-fighting equipment and so on. Those upgrades would cost the city anywhere between 100 ~ 200 million Yen (approx. US$940,000 ~ 1.87 million).
In 2019 the city sought bids from private companies interested in operating out of the building. Only one bid was received, but failed to meet the proposal requirements. By demolishing the building, the city hopes the vacant land will be of more interest for a new project. Demolition and tree removal is expected to cost around 40 million Yen (approx. US$375,000).
Source: The Iwate Nichinichi Shimbun, February 26, 2021.
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