Instant sellout in The Tower Yokohama Kitanaka

All 730 apartments offered in the first round of sales for The Tower Yokohama Kitanaka have been sold. This was the highest number of apartments to have ever been released for sale in a building in Yokohama city in history. The 58-storey, 1,176-unit high-rise is also the largest building based on apartment-count to be built in the city since 1993.

Apartments were priced from 45 ~ 800 million Yen, with an average price of 1,200,000 Yen/sqm. The 212 sqm, 800 million Yen apartment has been the most expensive new apartment to have ever been sold in Yokohama.

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Yokohama may ban short-term letting on weekdays

Yokohama City is following in Shinjuku’s footsteps by proposing to introduce a ban on short-term Airbnb-style letting on weekdays. The plan would prohibit minpaku rentals from Mondays through Thursdays in areas zoned as Exclusively Low-Rise Residential. The plan will be open to public comment until December 19, with the draft to be submitted to the city council in February 2018.

Approximately 31% of Yokohama City’s area is designated as an Exclusively Low-Rise Residential Zone. The reasoning for the week-day ban is to ensure a peaceful environment for those who work during the week and do not want their neighborhood interrupted by travelers while trying to rest on weeknights.

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Apartments in The Tower Yokohama Kitanaka to go on sale this weekend

Over 60% of the apartments in Yokohama’s tallest condominium will go on sale this weekend, in what will be the highest number of apartments to have ever been released for sale in a building in the city. The Tower Yokohama Kitanaka is a 58-storey, 200m tall apartment building located in front of Bashamichi Station and close to Yokohama’s waterfront district.

A total of 730 apartments will be available for purchase in the first round of sales starting from November 25.  With a total of 1,176 apartments in the building, this building is the largest based on apartment count to have been developed in the city since 1993.

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort to open in Yokohama

Resorttrust Inc, a Nagoya-based hotel operator and developer, is planning to open The Kahala Hotel & Resort Yokohama in the city’s waterfront district of Minato Mirai by 2020.

Resorttrust plans to capitalize on the Kahala brand-name to attract both domestic and foreign tourists. The project will include two 14-storey hotels – one that is open to the general public, and one that is a members-only hotel. The smallest room will be a 50 sqm suite that is expected to be 100,000 Yen (890 USD) per night. There will also be four rooms of 120 sqm each that will be priced at around 300,000 Yen (2,675 USD) per night.

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Second building in Yokohama to be rebuilt due to faulty foundations

On April 30, apartment owners in a 262-unit residential complex in Yokohama voted in favor of redeveloping the five buildings after it was discovered that the foundations were not sunk deep enough. Back in 2013, residents noticed that one of the buildings was starting to lean after handrails between two buildings were out of alignment.

Residents of the 14-year old building faced a lengthy process, with the developer and construction company initially denying there was any fault with the building. Soil boring tests in 2014 confirmed that the foundation piles were too short and did not reach bedrock, causing one of the buildings to tilt. Reinforcing bars in the foundations of the other four buildings were also found to have been cut. 

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Mitsubishi sells Yokohama Building for 76 billion Yen

On March 30, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced the sale of their Yokohama Building for 76.1 billion Yen (approx. 688 million USD) to HULIC and KRF.

The sale included the 33-story office building and the 20,000 sqm block of land. The adjoining house exhibition showground on the north-west side of the office tower was included as part of the sale.  Mitsubishi will continue to occupy the building as the main tenant.

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Modernist building in Yokohama to be demolished next month

One of Yokohama’s early examples of modernist architecture will soon be demolished. The Prefectural Police Headquarters Onoecho Government Building was built in 1952. The 3-story concrete building with a curved exterior, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and no front entrance is considered one of the city’s modernist masterpieces.

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Faulty apartment building in Yokohama to be demolished next year

yokohama-apartmentLast month, two years after the building was found to be tilting, the owners association of a condominium complex in Yokohama voted in favour of redevelopment.

In October 2015 it was announced that several of the foundation piles in one of the buildings were not sunk deep enough to reach bedrock and a 2 cm difference in height had developed between the buildings. Residents were assured by the developer that the building posed no immediate risk and still met earthquake-resistant standards. However, further inspections found that the building would not withstand an earthquake producing a seismic intensity of 5+ or higher. In August 2016, Yokohama City issued the developer with a correction order under the Building Standards Act.

The 12-storey condominium was built in 2007 and contains over 700 apartments.

Demolition of all four blocks in the complex, including the one that has already started to show signs of tilting, will start as early as April 2017. It will be replaced by new buildings which should be ready for residents to  move into from late 2020. The developer will bear the 40 billion Yen (390 million USD) cost of redevelopment.

Under the Condominium Unit Ownership Act, 80% of owners must vote in favour in order to redevelop a condominium. In this particular case, 99% of owners were in favour of rebuilding. Those that were not in favour will be forced to sell their apartments to the owners association, as outlined under the Act.

It is likely that the redevelopment committee will select a different developer to carry out the reconstruction, rather than the original developer. Apartment owners who plan to move into the new building will be provided with temporary housing in the meantime. In addition to shouldering the cost of redevelopment and temporary accommodation, Mitsui is providing each household with 3 million Yen in compensation.

The Nikkei Shimbun, September 19, 2016.
The Tokyo Shimbun, September 20, 2016.

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