Demolition of the historic Jonas Residence has been pushed back to October as the current owner is prepared to sell the house and land for 360 million Yen (approximately 3.6 million USD) if a buyer can be found.
Developer Anabuki Kosan purchased the waterfront property earlier this year and plan to tear it down and replace it with a 10-storey apartment building.
Local residents formed a group to lobby for its conservation. Demolition had been postponed until the end of June, but the conservation group made an arrangement with Anabuki whereby they will sell the house and land for 360 million Yen if the group can come up with the money by the end of September. If not, the Jonas Residence will be demolished in October.
The group are currently seeking donations from individuals and are looking for a company who would be willing to jointly purchase the house. They have currently raised 32 million Yen. More information on making a donation or joint purchase can be found on the group’s website (in Japanese).
The 384 sqm (4131 sqft) house is on a 1578 sqm (17,000 sqft) block of waterfront land in Shioya-cho, Tarumi-ku (). It was built in 1919 for British trader F. M. Jonas. It was originally located 400 meters to the east, but was in the path of a planned rail line. In 1963, the house was shifted to its current location.
Many of the remaining western-style historic homes in Kobe are open to the public as museums or wedding halls.
Not all, however, are so lucky. In 2011, the Spanish Mission style Kodera Residence (c1931) in Nada-ku, Kobe, was demolished by a developer.
The Asahi Shimbun, July 2, 2013.
The Kobe Shimbun, July 2, 2013.