Co-Op Olympia, A Harajuku Landmark

p1030806-customHarajuku's landmark building is still standing after 45 years, but for how much longer?

Co-Op Olympia was completed in 1965, just after the Tokyo Olympics, which provided the inspiration for the building name. It is located right in the heart of Harajuku. The building has become a landmark in the area due to its unique design and prime location, and is a highly sought-after vintage residence.Read more

Work to begin on former Gap site in Harajuku

Tokyu Plaza HarajukuTokyu Land Corporation announced that they will start construction work on their "Omotesando Project" site on November 12th.

The project is expected to be completed by Spring of 2012. The site was the former location of Gap and is located at the intersection of upscale Omotesando Avenue and Meiji Avenue with its casual fashion stores.Read more

New record for the largest building capacity ratio in Japan

Osaka Welfare Pension Hall

Orix Fudosan received a building capacity ratio allowance of 1700% for their development site in Nishi-ku, Osaka. This building capacity ratio (Yosekiritsu) is the largest given to a residential project to date in Japan. The 10,000 sqm site currently houses the Osaka Welfare Pension Hall (Wel City Osaka) and was purchased by Orix in October, 2009. There are plans for a large scale apartment building and the refurbishment of the music hall. The preservation of the music hall will be in compliance with city p0licies.Read more

Apartment Reconstruction Still Lagging Despite Support System

Sansui Heim Motoazabu 1973

The following is a translation of an article that appeared in the Nikkei Shimbun on October 30th, 2010.

The large scale repairs and rebuilding of aging apartments in Tokyo is becoming more and more of a concern. Apartments built during the construction boom from the 1970s are now nearing 40 years old. If apartments are not properly maintained they create a fire and crime hazard (possibly because they have less security features than modern buildings). At the national and city level there is a support system for rebuilding, but actual cases where the system has been used are few in number.Read more

JVC sells Victor Studio land in Jingumae


JVC Kenwood Holdings sold the land underneath their Victor Studio building in Jingumae 2 Chome to a real estate company. JVC will lease the land from the new owner and continue to operate from the building.

Victor Studio was opened in 1969 and is used by many recording artists including Southern All Stars and Smap.

The land was sold for approximately 3 billion JPY  (~USD 37 million as of October, 2010).  The land will be leased by JVC and they will also retain rights to the building. The company has been liquidating their assets, and also sold a building and land in Yokohama.

The google map location for the land in Jingumae is here.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, October 27, 2010

MUFJ Bank donates villa to Kamakura City

Kamakura Villa UFJLocated in Kamakurayama, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank's holiday villa was donated to Kamakura City. The city opened the villa up to the public for one day on October 25th. In 2009, MUFJ had initially planned to sell the villa to the city, but financial difficulties caused the sale to fall through and it was later donated.

The main building is built from reinforced concrete with 2 floors and 1 basement. There are also two wooden tea houses.Read more

Kan continues quest to control foreign land ownership in Japan - are legal reforms likely?

There are no restrictions against foreigners purchasing and holding land in Japan.

However, with recent disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands igniting land ownership debates, many seemingly ordinary purchases by foreign capital are now under media scrutiny. This includes the purchase of forests in Hokkaido and the purchase of resort properties by a Korean group near a military base in Nagasaki.

Prime Minster Kan has recently started to raise the point of restricting land ownership in order to protect national interests.

The following is a translation of an article from the Asahi Shimbun, October 26th 2010.Read more

Tokyo Land Prices in October, 2010

Based on current market prices, the average price of a 100sqm (1,076sqft) piece of land in Tokyo is as follows:

Minato-ku (201 plots)
100sqm = 123,300,000 JPY (4,076,00 JPY/Tsubo)

Shibuya-ku (294 plots)
100sqm = 95,052,000 JPY (3,142,000 JPY/Tsubo)

Meguro-ku (264 plots)
100sqm = 75,092,000 JPY (2,482,000 JPY/Tsubo)

Setagaya-ku (1,466 plots)
100sqm = 65,523,000 JPY (2,166,000 JPY/Tsubo)

The above data is sourced from the Homes database of land currently for sale. This data is current for October 1, 2010.

1 Tsubo = 3.3 sqm.

Asakusa Tower to go ahead despite opposition from Sensoji Temple

Asakusa Tower

Asakusa's Sensoji Temple lost their court case against the development of high-rise apartment building under construction less than 400 meters away from the temple. The temple argued that the development went against city plans to limit residential buildings to 5 stories. No reason was given for the ruling against their case.Read more

Inside a $16 million Tokyo Penthouse

Hirakawacho Mori Tower Residence Penthouse 14Hirakawacho Mori Tower Residence
23rd floor 5-Bedroom Penthouse
424.98 sqm (4,570 sqft)

1,300,000,000 JPY (~USD 16 million)

Last week I had the chance to view the largest of the four penthouse apartments in Mori's newest building in Hirakawacho. The interior has marble and hardwood flooring and wood panelling. There are four separate entrances to the unit (main, kitchen, maid and emergency use). The formal living room has a gas fireplace and balcony.  The formal dining room overlooks the Imperial Palace and Marunouchi.

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