Gaien House, a 52 year old condominium located in a prime position across the street from the Olympic stadium site and Meiji Jingu Baseball Stadium, is about to be demolished and replaced with a 22-storey building containing apartments, commercial/retail space and childcare facilities. The project forms part of the Jingu-Gaien District Redevelopment, which also includes the demolition of the old Kasumigaoka Public Housing blocks, and the construction of new buildings for the Japanese Olympic Committee and Japan Sport Council.
The Jingu-Gaien District covers a 64.3 hectare site spanning three wards – Minato, Shibuya and Shinjuku. In 1926 the Meiji Jingu-Gaien district was the first location in Japan to be designated as a Scenic District. As a result, building heights were restricted to no more than 15 meters. In 2013 pressure from the Japan Sport Council saw the city designate the area as a redevelopment promotion zone, and maximum heights were lifted to 80 meters.
After the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Meiji-Jingu Baseball Stadium and Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium may also be redeveloped. The current Meiji-Jingu Stadium was built in 1926.
A-5 District (Gaien House Redevelopment)
Gaien House was built in 1964 by the Japan Housing Corporation. It was initially used to house foreign press for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. After the games, the apartments were sold off individually to Japanese buyers. The 7-storey building contained 196 apartments. Most of the apartments were 56 sqm (603 sq.ft) and either 1 or 2-Bedroom types. Over the past 20 years, sale prices in the building have averaged 650,000 Yen/sqm. In comparison, the same apartments in a brand new building on this site and in this current market could easily fetch two ~ three times that price.
Redevelopment discussions began over 10 years ago. There were two major stumbling blocks to redevelopment:
- The existing Kasumigaoka Apartment complex located across the road from Gaien House meant that any future development on the Gaien House site would have to follow strict sunlight rules, limiting the scale of a new building.
- Not all residents of Gaien House were initially in agreement with the redevelopment plans. Various redevelopment consultants and developers had tried and failed over the years to convince residents to vote in favour of redevelopment.
Thanks to some lucky timing, residents are now set to benefit from the recent relaxation to building heights which will allow them to build a much larger building, while the conversion of the former Kasumigaoka Apartments to a park will mean no more worries about sunlight rules.
The new building will be 80 meters tall and 22-storeys. It will contain approximately 410 apartments. Construction is scheduled to start in Spring 2017, with completion by Spring 2020.
Mitsui Fudosan Residential is in charge of the development, with planning by Nikken Housing System.
A-4 District (Japanese Olympic Committee and Japan Sport Council Buildings)
The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) Building will be 60 meters tall and 14 storeys. Construction is scheduled to start in 2017 with completion by Spring 2019.
The Japan Sport Council (JSC) Building will be 69 meters tall and 16 storeys. It is already under construction with completion scheduled for mid-2017.
Both buildings have been designed by Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei.
A-3 District (City Meiji Park)
Located across the street on the southern side of the planned Olympic stadium. This was once the site of military barracks and horse stables, but later became the site of the old Kasumigaoka Apartments, a city-operated public housing complex. The 10 apartment buildings, containing 300 units, will soon be demolished, although a couple of residents have yet to move out.
The apartments were built in 1961 to house residents that had been displaced by an older public housing block which had to be demolished to make way for the 1964 Olympic Stadium. The older complex was a group of 100 units in row-houses that were built in 1946 and located just to the north.
Although just 4 years older than the neighbouring Gaien House, which has been maintained over the years, the public housing buildings are in a rapidly deteriorating state with cracked and peeling concrete walls and exposed reinforcing.
The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, April 14, 2016.
Diamond Online, April 4, 2016.
The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, December 15, 2015.
The Daily Engineering & Construction News, April 14, 2015.