Maison Mita, a 67-unit, 49-year old condominium in central Tokyo’s Mita neighbourhood will be redeveloped into a 77m tall, 23-storey high rise by both Mitsubishi Jisho Residence and Asahi Kasei Realty & Residence. Demolition of the current building is expected to start in December 2017 and the new building is due for completion by December 2020.
Apartment owners had been discussing redevelopment for the past 10 years.
Apartments in the older building ranged in size from 34 ~ 108 sqm, with a mixture of studio and family-oriented layouts. The building was developed by Kyoei Life Insurance and completed in 1968. Kyoei developed several Maison-named condominiums in central Tokyo in the 1960s, 70’s and ‘80s. The insurance company filed for bankruptcy with liabilities of 4.6 trillion Yen in 2000 in what was said to have been the country’s biggest bankruptcy since WWII.
The property is located in the prime, upscale Mita 2 Chome address in Minato-ku. This elevated district is a historically wealthy part of Mita and was once home to grand estates of several Daimyo. Some of these estates remain to this day – the Tsunamachi Mitsui Club, Australian Embassy and Italian Embassy are all on former Daimyo estates. Directly across the street on the western side of Maison Mita is the Italian Embassy which was originally a spare Daimyo’s residence from the Iyo-Matsuyama Domain.
About 50 meters to the north of Maison Mita is The Residence Mita, a 79m tall, 24-storey condominium that replaced the 47-year old former Chateau Mita 8-storey apartment building. South-facing apartments in The Residence Mita are likely to see their views impacted by this new redevelopment, while north-facing apartments in the new project are likely to find that views of Tokyo Tower will be blocked by The Residence Mita. West facing apartments in the new project are likely to be the most desirable as they will overlook the greenery of the Italian Embassy grounds.
Current average asking prices in the nearby The Residence Mita (c2014) are around 1,950,000 Yen/sqm. In Maison Mita, the last reported resales were in 2015 when apartments were selling for around 650,000 Yen/sqm.
On August 29, the Tokyo Governor gave special approval for the floor area ratio (FAR) to be increased for this redevelopment. In a revision to the Building Redevelopment Act in 2014, a relaxation to floor area ratios may be permitted under special circumstances. This is the first project in Japan to receive this approval. Under the new system, existing buildings that have been officially recognized as not meeting current earthquake-resistance construction codes may receive allowances to the current floor area ratio to allow a larger building to replace the older, unsafe one. In this case, the FAR has been increased from its current limit of 400% to a special allowance of 463.5%. The new building will have twice the floor space as the former building.
To redevelop a condominium in Japan, four-fifths of apartment owners must vote in agreement. Discussions usually take many, many years before consensus is reached. In rare cases like Maison Mita, changes to density can allow for a larger building to replace the older, smaller one. Excess floor space can be given to a developer which can help fund the redevelopment. In the majority of cases, however, excess floor space is not available, which means that apartment owners must bear the cost of construction themselves, creating a serious stumbling block that often leaves older buildings in a state of limbo.
|Old Building||New Building|
|Height||Unknown||Approx. 77 meters|
|Building size||6,278 sqm||12,962 sqm|
|Land size||1,972.83 sqm||1,972.83 sqm|
The Kensetsu Tsushin Shimbun, September 12, 2017.
R.E.Port, September 11, 2017.
Mitsubishi Jisho Residence, Asahi Kasei Realty & Residence News Release, September 11, 2017.