Heir donates historic villa to Chigasaki City

Chigasaki Nanko-in Sanatorium 2The owner of a 116-year old former hospital ward in Chigasaki, Kanagawa, has donated the property to the city in accordance with his late father’s wishes.

‘Nanko-in’ was founded by Doctor Koan Takata (1861-1945) in 1899 as a tuberculosis sanatorium. The 18,000 sqm beachfront site in the Shonan area was chosen because of its clean air and environment.  A 2-storey, wooden building with a total floor area of 230 sqm (2,475 sq.ft) was built in 1899 as the first hospital ward.

The hospital started with just ten rooms and three patients. One of those was the widow of , a samurai and politician.  Author  was hospitalised here before his death in 1908. His illness was reported in the Yomiuri Newspaper at the time and elevated the reputation of both the hospital and the Chigasaki vacation villa area.

Kawasaki City wants to curb supply of studio apartments

Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture is planning to introduce guidelines to limit the construction of small studio apartments. The city has seen a surge in development of ‘one-room’ apartment buildings and is concerned about the effects on local communities.

The new guidelines may increase the minimum apartment size from 18 sqm (194 sq.ft) to 25 sqm (269 sq.ft), and may require on-site building managers or caretakers. For a building with over 100 units, an on-site manager may be required, while smaller buildings may require a manager for a minimum set of hours per day or week. Garbage collection may be required daily. Developers, managers and residents may also be encouraged to join the local neighbourhood association. However, there will be no fines or penalties for failure to comply with the guidelines.

Idle ocean-front land in Miura sold to Chiba buyer

Properst Miura Land 1

An idle parcel of ocean-front land in Miura, Kanagawa, will be sold to a Chiba-based company later this year. The 13.5 hectare (1.45 million sq.ft) site is currently owned by Properst, a Tokyo-based developer. The sale price has not been disclosed and it is unclear what the new buyer plans to do with the site.

The site was developed by Seibu Railway between 1955 and 1965. It was originally an inlet, but the land was reclaimed to create a potential tourist destination. Properst acquired the site in early 2007 for 8.1 billion Yen (approx. 67.5 million USD at the time) and planned to construct several apartment buildings containing 1,400 units, a 140-room hotel, marina, retail, 152 residential building lots, and parkland. The project would have housed around 3,000 residents. This was exciting news for Miura City, which had been battling a declining and ageing population.

Yokosuka City forcibly demolishes abandoned home

Yokosuka Higashiuraga 2Yokosuka City began the forced demolition of an abandoned home in Higashiuraga on March 13. This is the first forced demolition to be carried out in Kanagawa Prefecture and the third in Japan.

The wooden house, which was built sometime between the Taisho and early Showa periods, had a total floor area of 25 sqm. It was in a serious state of decay, with exterior cladding and doors coming loose in past typhoons. It became vacant after the owner passed away in 1988.

In 2012 the city received a complaint about the house and had repeatedly tried to contact relatives of the current owners, but with no success. The owners of the house did not own the land, and since the house did not appear on any cadastral maps, the heirs were not subject to annual property taxes.

The house was considered a hazard to the locals who often use the pathway running in front of the house as a shortcut to the station, and in December 2014 a removal order was issued. 

Fault discovered in Kawasaki apartment building

Park Tower Shinkawasaki 3In what looks to be a disturbing trend, another apartment building under construction has been found to have a serious defect. It was announced on March 31 that a high-rise condominium in Kawasaki City would be partially demolished and rebuilt after cracks were found on concrete pillars on the fourth floor.

Construction had reached the 7th floor when it was discovered that the extra load of the floors was putting too much strain on the 4th floor structural columns causing them to crack and split.  

Large-scale resort/apartment complex planned for Yokosuka

Yokosuka Uraga Resort

After sitting idle for almost 25 years, a large-scale resort/apartment complex may finally be built at the eastern side of the City Marina Velasis in Yokosuka. The 8 hectare site was once the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Kawama Factory and ship building yards.

In 1989, Sumitomo’s SHI Resort Development planned to build a 700-unit resort condominium complex, but the collapse of the property bubble put their plans on indefinite hold. Sumitomo later sold the land and yacht harbour to Unimat. In 1993, approval was granted to built the Velasis Uraga apartment blocks which were completed in 2001. There were also plans to develop the eastern side, but construction stalled over 10 years ago and the land has remained vacant.

Musashikosugi apartment boom (and bubble?)

Concerns are growing about a possible over-heating in the property market around Musashikosugi Station in Kawasaki City as the area experiences a construction boom.

According to the latest ‘koji-chika’ assessed land values as of January 1, 2013, commercial land values in Kosugimachi increased 9.9% over the year while residential land values in the same area increased by 9.1%, making it the best performing area in Kanagawa Prefecture.

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