On January 10, Sekisui House and Marriott International announced plans for Japan’s first W Hotel. The 337-room W Osaka will open in the Shinsaibashi district in 2021. Room rates have yet to be decided, but it is expected that this will be one of the priciest hotels in Osaka city.
The building will be 117 meters tall with 27 floors and will be designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando.
The hotel will be directly across the street from Harry Winston, Hublot and Hermes.
Sekisui House was able to secure the 2,500 sqm parcel of land alongside the highly regarded Midosuji boulevard several years ago. Sekisui’s original plans for this site included a 100m tall mixed-use building with rental apartments on the higher floors and completion scheduled for 2016. This would have been the first residential apartments alongside this street.
Sekisui also developed The Ritz Carlton Kyoto and The St. Regis Osaka. About 60% of guests at The St. Regis are foreigners.
In 2014, Osaka City introduced relaxed zoning rules alongside Midosuji boulevard to allow taller buildings in hopes of creating a cityscape similar to that of Manhattan. After WWII, building heights were limited to 30 meters to preserve the appearance of the street, but were raised to 50 meters in 1995. In 2014 they were raised to 200 meters, with a 50 meter limit for the first 10 meters back from the street. Residential use was also allowed from 2014 onwards, with rental apartments now allowed on the upper floors of commercial buildings.
The Nikkei Shimbun, January 10, 2017.
The Mainichi Shimbun, January 10, 2017.