Mitsukoshi to close historic department store in Niigata

Niigata City is losing major retail players due to a declining population and a shift in consumer habits towards online shopping and larger suburban malls. On September 26, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings announced the planned closure of their Mitsukoshi Department Store in the city by March 2020. The closure is expected to worsen the decline in the city center’s retail district.

LaSalle buys Midosuji Front Tower

On October 3, LaSalle Investment Management, headquartered in Chicago, announced the purchase of Midosuji Front Tower in Osaka’s Umeda district through their Frontier Property LLC, signalling the end of the building’s 8 year vacancy. The sale price was not disclosed.

Midosuji Front Tower was completed in 2010. It has sat vacant ever since due to a dispute between the owners.

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.