After sitting idle for almost 25 years, a large-scale resort/apartment complex may finally be built at the eastern side of the City Marina Velasis in Yokosuka. The 8 hectare site was once the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Kawama Factory and ship building yards.
In 1989, Sumitomo’s SHI Resort Development planned to build a 700-unit resort condominium complex, but the collapse of the property bubble put their plans on indefinite hold. Sumitomo later sold the land and yacht harbour to Unimat. In 1993, approval was granted to built the Velasis Uraga apartment blocks which were completed in 2001. There were also plans to develop the eastern side, but construction stalled over 10 years ago and the land has remained vacant.
The development site is located 2 kilometres south of Uraga Station and is just east of Cape Tomyozaki and its Japanese-style lighthouse. In the 1800s, the area just south of Uraga Station was the site of the ‘s shipyard.The dockyards constructed over 1,000 vessels including warships and passenger liners. By 1919 it was one of the largest privately owned shipyards in the world. The company was acquired by Sumitomo in 1969.
The Velasis marina is also the site of the historic brick-lined Kawama Dock. Both the Kawama and Uraga docks are said to be two of the only four brick-lined dry docks left in the world.
The main developer of the new resort is Unimat Group. Their plans include six buildings for aged-care residents and two condominiums with a total of 2,506 apartments. There will also be accommodation facilities, restaurants, a clubhouse, hotel and chapel.
Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2014 with the first phase completed in two years. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2022.
Source: Town News, December 6, 2013.