Osaka Marubiru to be demolished

The circular Osaka Marubiru office tower in Umeda will be redeveloped, with construction set to start next year.

Upon its completion in 1976, the 123-meter tall tower was one of the leading skyscrapers in Osaka City. Its round design has made it a familiar landmark and its electric news ticker atop the building was the first in Japan. The building was developed by Yoshimoto Haruhiko who had inherited a large land parcel in Umeda. In 1989, Forbes ranked Yoshimoto as the 8th richest person in the world with a fortune estimated at 7 billion USD at the time. Heavy debt burdens following some investment losses and high borrowing rates saw Yoshimoto’s company, K.K. Osaka Marubiru, file for a business revitalization plan in 2004 that resulted in Daiwa House Industry acquiring the company’s shares.

In recent years the 46-year old building has become increasingly costly to maintain and repair and less competitive as an asset compared to newer buildings nearby. The lowers floors contain retail, while the upper floors contain the 460-room Osaka Dai-Ichi Hotel.

Once demolished, the site will be used as a temporary bus terminal for the 2025 World Exposition. Daiwa House Industry and K.K. Osaka Marubiru will then begin developing a new building to be completed by 2030.

Source: Daiwa House Industry News Release, May 13, 2022.

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