Shoto Governor’s Residence sells for 4.3 billion Yen

The former Tokyo Governor’s Residence in Shibuya’s high-end Shoto neighbourhood has been sold to Sumitomo Realty & Development for 4.368 billion Yen (36 million USD), or approximately 1,968,000 Yen/sqm based on the land size.

The residence was offered for sale by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government via public bidding from December 15 ~ 19. Sumitomo and another major real estate company were the only two bidders. The second bidder had tendered approximately 4 billion Yen for the property.

This was the third time they had sought to find a buyer for the 2,220 sqm site, but the first time bidding was made available to the public. The government had initially sought interest from foreign embassies. In 2008 the property was offered for 4.8 billion Yen. Following the Lehman Shock, it was offered again in 2009 at a reduced price of 3.35 billion Yen. Under the Local Autonomy Act, local governments are not permitted to sell off public assets at heavily discounted prices, which can result in properties sitting on the market for years. However, the recent improvement in the Tokyo property market and the severe shortage in available sites in prime residential districts made the Shoto property an appealing investment.

The 2-storey residence was built in 1997 but was only occupied for about 12 months. Subsequent governors never moved into the residence, although it has been leased out on occasions.

Land in Shoto, particularly larger sized land, is extremely difficult to obtain. Sumitomo do not have current plans for the site.

Sources:
The Asahi Shimbun, December 24, 2014.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, December 25, 2014.
Yucasee Media, December 24, 2014.

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