Former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata sold at second public auction

Arai Mountain and Spa Ski Resort

A Tokyo-based company established just a month ago with capital of 50,000 Yen was the winning bidder for the former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture. The overgrown hotel was put up for public auction in early June with a minimum bid set at 884 million Yen. Three companies submitted offers, with “Hotel and Resort Joetsu Myoko” making the highest bid of 1.8 billion Yen (14.6 million USD).

The resort closed down in 2006 and was eventually seized by Myoko City for non-payment of taxes. The property includes 200 hectares of land, and 22 buildings including a hotel and restaurant.

According to the company register, the winning bidder was a company established in Minato-ku, Tokyo, on May 1, 2015. The city will make the final decision regarding the sale on June 26, with the buyer to pay the remaining amount on the same day. Stakeholders have objected to the sale and it is possible that the transaction could be delayed.

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Abandoned ski resort in Niigata sold for 1.3 billion Yen

Arai Mountain and Spa Resort Niigata 2The overgrown and abandoned former Arai Mountain & Spa Resort in Niigata Prefecture has been purchased by Tokyo-based A. C Holdings for 1.3 billion Yen. The company, which is involved in construction and golf course development, plans to re-open the ski resort and target wealthy tourists from China and across Asia.

The Arai Resort was developed by Hideo Morita, eldest son of Akio Morita( the co-founder of Sony) and opened in 1993. Over 50 billion Yen was invested in creating a world-class health resort. In its first year, however, the resort ran into management difficulties and Morita’s relatives provided an additional investment of 23 billion Yen to prop up the company. Eventually the over-investment, poor management and low tourist numbers led to the closure of the resort in 2006.

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No bidders for Nara Dreamland

Nara Dreamland 2

The foreclosed Nara Dreamland amusement park in Nara City failed to attract a single bid when it was put up for public auction on November 11. The 297,000 sqm site was listed for sale with a minimum price of 730 million Yen (6.3 million USD). Although ten inquiries were received, no bids were made.

Too expensive?

With a minimum price of around 2,400 Yen per square meter, this might seem like an exceptional bargain when compared to the surrounding area, but the park is dotted with a number of overgrown and unsafe structures and rides which would require several hundred million Yen to remove.

The land is also subject to a number of strict building regulations that make redevelopment a difficult task. The land falls in an Urbanisation Control Area and current uses only permit welfare, sports, museum, zoo or school facilities. Approval from the prefectural governor is required before construction.

Housing, commercial, retail or hot spring development is not allowed. It is also within two kilometres of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Todai-ji temple and Kofuku-ji temple), which means the land is designated as a scenic and conservation zone under the Act for the Preservation of Ancient Capitals. As a result, building heights are limited to 10 meters, while building-to-land ratios are limited to 30%. Nara’s mayor said the city has no intention to provide any allowances on the construction regulations.

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Nara Dreamland for sale for 730 million Yen

Nara Dreamland 2

On September 25, Nara City announced that they are putting the long-since closed Nara Dreamland site up for sale with an estimated price of 730 million Yen. Bids will be opened on November 11 with final payment due on November 18.

The sale includes 297,519 sqm of land with 75 buildings including a hotel, training centre, retail spaces, the amusement park buildings and rides, and offices. The park closed in 2006 and is largely overgrown and in a state of disrepair.

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[Foreclosed] House in Chiba’s ‘Beverly Hills’

Chiba One Hundred Hills 1

A 4-bedroom house in One Hundred Hills (Chiba Prefecture’s version of Beverly Hills) has been foreclosed on and will go up for public auction in May. The minimum bid is set at 51,656,000 Yen.

*Update: The winning bid was 65,126,000 Yen. Three bids were submitted and the winner was a corporate buyer.

One Hundred Hills is a high-end residential estate that was developed by Tokyu Land in the late 1980s. The first homes in the neighbourhood were between 400 ~ 500 sqm (4300 ~ 5380 sqft) in size and were priced from 500 million ~ 1.5 billion Yen when new. Tokyu had subdivided the 17 hectare estate into 60 lots and had sold 24 of the 49 homes they had built by the time the bubble burst. 

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[Foreclosed] 1898 Ijinkan in Kitanocho, Kobe

Kobe Ijinkan Foreclosed

*Update: The property was withdrawn from the auction. This can occur when the creditor/s are either paid the outstanding debt or reach an agreement with the borrower. 

The former Moore residence in Kobe’s historic Kitanocho district will go up for public auction this month with bidding starting from 45.6 million Yen (442,000 USD). 

The 2-storey western-style residence was built in 1898, with an extension to the rear added in 1980. It fronts onto Kitano Street, which is a popular spot for tourists.

Both the exterior and fence that face the street have been identified by Kobe City’s Board of Education as traditional structures and any exterior alterations require permission (internal modifications, however, are allowed). 

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Nara Dreamland foreclosed

Nara Dreamland 1

Before Tokyo Disneyland there was Nara Dreamland – a Disney-themed park in Nara Prefecture that closed in 2006 and has since become a popular spot for urban explorers. Due to unpaid property taxes, Nara City is planning to put the property up for public auction soon. 

Nara Dreamland was opened in 1961 by Nihon Dream Kanko. After meeting with Walt Disney at California’s Disneyland Park,  Nihon Dream’s president Kunizo Matsuo expressed a desire to build a similar theme park in West Japan to cater to Japanese. Disney was apparently okay with this idea and sent some experts to Japan to advise on park design. While Nihon Dream claimed to have a franchise agreement in place, Disney later denied any official affiliation as they could not come to an agreement on franchise fees.

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Final chapter for Tokyo’s Chongryon HQ

Chongryon HQ TokyoRather than hold a third auction, the Tokyo District Court announced plans to sell the foreclosed Chongryon headquarters in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo to a real estate company from Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture. If there are no problems with Marunaka Holdings’ paperwork, the final decision regarding the sale will be made on March 24.

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Hiroshima’s Naked Island sold

Hiroshima Sukune IslandSukune Island in Hiroshima Prefecture sold at public auction to a private bidder for 7,788,800 Yen. The price was a little over 3 times the evaluation price set by the court. 

A total of 10 bids were made on the 7400 sqm island. The winning bidder is the manager of a rental apartment building in nearby Fukuyama City. The 73-year old does not have immediate plans for the island.

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Mongolian company’s bid on Chongryon HQ rejected

Chongryon HQ TokyoOn January 23, the Tokyo District Court announced that they have decided against the sale of the foreclosed North Korean defector embassy building and land in Chiyoda-ku to a mysterious Mongolian company after documents submitted by the buyer were found to be colour copies and could not be authenticated as official documents issued by the Mongolian government.

In October 2013, ‘Avar LLC’ was the winning bidder on the property after putting in the highest bid of 5.1 billion Yen. Suspicions were immediately raised after it was discovered that Avar was created in January with a capital investment of just 60,000 Yen and was registered to an apartment in Ulaanbaatar (the occupant of the apartment had no knowledge of the company).

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