53-yr old office conversion in Chiyoda-ku

The C Uchikanda 3

Real estate developer Hulic Co., Ltd. has converted a 53 year old office building in Chiyoda-ku into a trendy shared apartment, office and event space. The building has been named ‘the c’ to represent the keywords behind the project, which were central, conversion, communication, culture and create.

Floors 3 to 9 have been converted into shared residential space, with a shared office space located on the 2nd floor. The top floor of the building has been turned into a shared lounge, theatre room and dining space for both residents and office workers. An event space was created in the building’s basement which can be rented out for events and meetings. The rooftop has an open terrace with wi-fi access.

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1960s Osaka office conversion wins renovation prize

Osaka Office Conversion

The conversion of a 48-year old small office building into a private residence won best design (open category) in the 2014 Renovation of the Year awards announced on November 2.

The 4-storey office building had a floor plate of 66 sqm and was surrounding by buildings on three sides, limiting natural light. The property was purchased for a relatively low cost due to its age and the difficulty in attracting commercial tenants.

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Tax breaks and better home loan rates to boost Japan’s second-hand home market

Journal Standard Renoveru 2
A renovated apartment in Kawasaki City by Renoveru (a collaboration between Journal Standard Furniture and ACME).

As part of a plan to support and boost the market for used homes, the Japanese government is considering introducing measures to encourage lower interest rates on mortgages that include a component for renovations as well as tax benefits for buyers of older homes.

Although there is growing demand from consumers for relatively cheaper existing homes, more than half require some form of work such as earthquake-retrofitting or upgrades to make them barrier-free for older occupants. It is hoped that easier financing will encourage more consumers to consider older homes and reduce the number of vacant homes across the country.

Expanding the Flat 35 Home Loan

The Japan Housing Finance Agency’s ‘Flat 35’ home loan offers interest rates from as low as 1.69%. Although the loan can be used for both new and old properties, it may soon be expanded to provide additional financing for renovation costs at the time of purchase.

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Japan’s renovation boom

Japan’s property renovation market is experiencing a boom as small, medium and even major developers get in on the action.  The recent rise in the price of new apartments is driving some buyers to consider older and cheaper apartments on the resale market. Real estate companies have noticed this trend and are busy renovating apartments to re-sell.

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Mitsubishi Jisho to start renovating old office buildings

Mitsubishi Jisho Office Renovation 3Mitsubishi Jisho Residence announced that they are entering the building renovation business. With the cooperation of their subsidiary MEC eco LIFE Co. as well as Real Tokyo Estate, Mitsubishi plan to rent entire buildings from owners, carry out refurbishments, including earthquake-retrofitting, and then offer the newly made-over spaces for rent.

The owners of older office buildings can have a difficult time attracting tenants and such buildings tend to have high vacancy rates. As such, landlords of buildings with little-to-no rental income are less inclined to carry out renovations on their own.

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Nihonbashi office conversion provides solution to vacancy woes

Renovation company Haptic Co. collaborated with interior design and furnishing company Idee to convert a 24-year old office building in Nihonbashi into residential apartments.

The 7-storey Nihonbashi M&K Building was built in 1989. The owners of the ageing building were having difficulty attracting commercial tenants. Converting the building to residential use was less than a third of the estimated cost of rebuilding. 

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Grosvenor to sell luxury apartments in The Westminster Roppongi (aka Roppongi Arents)

International property development group, Grosvenor, will be selling off individual apartments in a luxury residential building adjoining the Roppongi Hills complex.

The Westminster Roppongi (previously named Roppongi Arents) is a 14-storey apartment building that was completed in 2003 – the same time as Roppongi Hills. Apartments range in size from 88.45 to 288.77 sqm (951 ~ 3107 sqft) and have previously been rented for between 470,000 ~ 2,200,000 Yen per month.

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Customised rental properties provide answer to vacancy rate problem

An increasing  number of landlords are offering to renovate their properties in accordance with their tenants’ wishes in order to attract and retain long-term occupants. 

Royal Annex, Toshima-ku

Typical renovations can amount to two year’s rent, but in an effort to retain the tenants in the long term, the landlord of one building spent approximately three year’s rent on renovating an apartment to the client’s specifications. The rent on this particular apartment is 160,000 Yen a month, approximately 10,000 Yen higher than it was prior to the renovation.

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