Tokyo skyline reaches for new heights with $5.5 bln Mori project
* Toranomon-Azabudai project to cost around 580 bln yen
* Completion is scheduled for March 2023
* Development is largest ever for Mori Building
(Adds comments from Mori Building's CEO)
By Chris Gallagher
TOKYO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Mori Building Co has started work
on a $5 billion real estate project that will include Japan's
tallest building and an emphasis on overseas residents, in the
latest sign of developers' bullishness on Tokyo beyond the 2020
Mori Building, known for its "Hills" brand of
properties, said on Thursday it began construction this month on
the Toranomon-Azabudai redevelopment project, near the Roppongi
district in central Tokyo, with costs estimated around 580
billion yen ($5.5 billion). Completion is slated for March 2023.
The project, yet to be officially named, aims to create a
city within a city, with vegetable gardens, museums and
galleries and three high-rise towers for about 20,000 office
workers and 3,500 residents.
It will also be home to the British School in Tokyo with
around 700 students from over 50 countries, serving as an
"engine" to help attract global companies and workers from
abroad, Chief Executive Shingo Tsuji told reporters.
"From all over the world we need to attract people, their
business, their financial resources," Tsuji said, noting the
competition Tokyo faced from other international cities like
Hong Kong and Shanghai.
"Overseas expats have to be able to work, live, and learn.
In the heart of Tokyo we need to offer that kind of
environment," he said, adding that about half of the office
tenants would be foreign-affiliated companies.
Average land prices in the metropolitan area are at their
highest since the 2008 financial crisis, data from the Japan
Real Estate Institute show, as the economy has recovered and
construction and infrastructure projects gather pace ahead of
The 64-floor main tower will reach 330 metres (1,080 feet)
to become the country's tallest building, at least until around
2027 when Mitsubishi Estate completes a 390 metre
high-rise near Tokyo station.
Earthquake-prone Japan has lagged other countries in
building height but its skylines are creeping higher as advanced
seismic designs minimise swaying caused by quakes as well as
wind. The 634 metre Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest
broadcast tower, opened in 2012.
This upward climb is line with the strategy of Mori
Building, whose late co-founder Minoru Mori had long advocated
his vision of compact, "vertical garden cities" aimed at
improving quality of life in the sprawling metropolis.
Mori Building said the 8.1 hectare (20 acres) complex would
be centred around a 6,000 square metre park. Total floor area
will be 860,400 square metres, surpassing Mori's Roppongi Hills
to make it the developer's biggest-ever project by floor space.
The complex will also hold a yet-to-be announced luxury
hotel brand debuting in Japan, as well as a large-scale food
market and a medical facility to promote wellness.
"The Tokyo market is a huge market," Tsuji said, adding that
market conditions were solid and the project's diverse
facilities would help it stand out from rivals.
($1 = 106.4700 yen)
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; editing by Richard Pullin)
First Published: 2019-08-22 04:00:01
Updated 2019-08-22 07:48:47
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