1000 room hotel for Osaka’s Umeda district

On August 7, Hankyu Hanshin Holdings announced plans to open a 1,000 room hotel in Yodobashi Umeda Tower – a 35-storey redevelopment adjacent to the Yodobashi electronics store in Umeda, Osaka. The first 8 floors of the building will be retail, with the hotel located on floors 9 and above. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2020, with the lower-floor retail to open in late 2019. This will be the largest hotel based on room count in Osaka City.

Japan land prices increase in 91% of locations – highest share in history

According to the quarterly LOOK report issued by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in the first quarter of 2018, land prices have increased in 91% of the surveyed locations. This is the first time the percentage has exceeded 90% in the history of reporting.

The main factors behind the rising land prices include positive conditions for the office market in central Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, major redevelopment projects, surging tourism numbers and expenditure, and strong demand for apartments that are close to transport. These factors are also encouraging investment into the office, retail, hotel and residential sector.

Kasumigaseki Building turns 50 this month

Kasumigaseki Building, Japan’s first skyscraper, turned 50 on April 12. To celebrate the half-century anniversary, the exterior of the building has been lit up with an art display that runs in the evenings until the end of May. A beer garden has also been set up outside the entrance for the duration of the event.

Built in 1968 and with a height of 147 meters, this was the first building in the country to be over 100 meters tall. Nowadays it is flanked by a taller neighbor – the twin tower Central Government Building No. 7 – which was completed in 2007 and is 156m and 176m tall.

Central Tokyo office rents increase for 49th month in a row

The average monthly office rent in central Tokyo’s business districts was 19,338 Yen per Tsubo (approx. 5,860 Yen/sqm) in January, up 4.1% from last year and the 49th month in a row to see a year-on-year increase. This is the highest level seen since October 2009. Office rents are now up 19.3% from their recent low of 16,207 Yen/Tsubo seen in December 2013, but are still 15.5% below a previous record high in mid-2008.

Vacancy rates were down 0.67 points from last year to 3.07%. This is similar to levels last seen in 2007 and a marked improvement from the average 8 ~ 9% vacancy rate seen between 2010 and 2014.

Imperial Hotel up for potential redevelopment?

A nearby acquisition by Mitsui Fudosan has some industry experts suggesting that the1100-room Imperial Hotel near Hibiya Park in downtown Tokyo may be slated for future redevelopment.

The hotel includes the main building that was built in 1970 along with a 31-storey office/hotel building at the rear that was completed in 1983. By the time of the 2020 Summer Olympics, the main building will be 50 years old. With a booming tourism industry, many of Japan’s top hoteliers are expanding, refurbishing or redeveloping their older hotels.