On December 17, 2014, the historic Suzuki Residence in Denenchofu 3 Chome was opened up to the public for a farewell tour before demolition.
At the open day, the current owner, who is the grandchild of Mr. Suzuki, spoke about their fond memories of the home. Over the years it had hosted family birthday parties, weddings and funerals, and has been the setting for several TV dramas. The 90-year old house, which has been registered as a Tangible Cultural Property, has been painstakingly cared for and is in beautiful condition.
The Suzuki Residence was built during the Taisho era for a German resident. It was later purchased by Mr. Suzuki for his son, who later returned from the war to to live in the house with his family. The architect is unknown, although some have suggested it might have been Kintaro Yabe, the designer of the Denenchofu Station Building, since the buildings are similar in style.
It is a 2-storey western-style home with a total floor area of 165 sqm. It sits on a large 928 sqm block of land which fronts onto Denenchofu’s gingko tree-lined main street.
The decision to demolish the home was not an easy choice by the owner. However, selling the property would prove to be difficult given the size of the land and the limited buyers in that price range. Average land prices in the Denenchofu 3 Chome area are currently around 1 million Yen/sqm, which would give the property a market price of around 930 million Yen*.
*Update: In April 2015, the new owner of the property (a developer) listed the land for sale for 1.12 billion Yen, or approximately 1,200,000 Yen/sqm. Under the terms of sale, the buyer is required to use the home builder designated by the seller and sign a construction contract within 3 months of purchase.
High inheritance taxes are another issue.