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Mori's new Mecca for the moneyed nears completion in Roppongi

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"Toranomon-Azabudai Project is a completely new, unprecedented urban development project that will combine the sophistication of a megalopolis with the intimacy of a small village in the heart of Tokyo." (Source: Web site of Mori Corporation.)

Mori, developer of ARK Hills, Roppongi Hills and Toranomon Hills, continues its quest to transform the landscape of Tokyo's Minato Ward. When completed next March, reports Shukan Shincho (Oct 27), the tower in Mori's Toranomon-Azabudai Project will soar to 330 meters, making it Japan's highest building -- surpassing the Abeno Harukas skyscraper in Osaka's Tennoji district (completed in 2014) by some 30 meters. The 64,000 square meter area will include two other high-rise buildings.

Mori is said to have patiently nurtured plans for redeveloping the neighborhood from the 1980s. Part of the complex will front Gaien Higashi Dori, the street that passes between the Russian Embassy and the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MOFA is expected to utilize the facilities for diplomatic receptions, international conferences and other events.

The residential condominiums on its upper floors, meanwhile, are being marketed under the name "Aman Residence Tokyo."

In addition to restaurants and other commercial businesses in the tower's basement, the complex will also be home to a high-class supermarket. Another tenant lined up is Keio University's Center for Preventative Medicine.

The mid-level floors will house corporate offices. And visitors to Japan's capital will be able to sack out in "a world-class luxury hotel that charges at least ¥100,000 per night."

"The upper residential floors will house a total of 91 condo units, a spa restricted to the building's residences, and also a private dining area, set up to the specifications of professional chefs," a realtor remarked.

The condo sales strategy appears to ascribe to the well-worn saying that "if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it." Aman's official website eschews the display of unit floor plans or listing of prices.

Rather, the developer has opted to engage in closed sales.

"Since the individuals who can afford it are so limited, there's not much advantage in disseminating details on prices and so on," explained Yukio Sakurai, a housing critic. "On the other hand, closed sales will enhance its image of exclusivity, and will enable sales to proceed more smoothly."

"Due in part to the depreciated value of the Japanese yen, the Aman's 1,500-square-meter penthouse price tag has supposedly shot up to nearly ¥30 billion," a real estate developer is quoted as saying. "Up to now, the most expensive condominium unit ever sold in Japan was believed to have sold for ¥6.7 billion. But even the cheaper units in Aman will sell for several billion yen. Still, compared to real estate in other major world cities, properties in Japan are on the low side, so I think this place will stand out."

In comparison, the penthouse in Manhattan's 131-floor Central Park Tower (which stands 472 meters high) was listed for sale at the equivalent of ¥36 billion.

The magazine wonders who will be the man, or woman, at the top -- literally in this case.

"Word has been going around that it will be some Japanese business magnate," the aforementioned developer said. "Speculation has it the buyer is likely to be SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who has sufficient income to buy it just from the dividends he receives from his own company shares." (A spokesperson for Softbank issued a strenuous denial.)

"Rumors have also been circulating that billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, founder of custom fit apparel brand ZOZO, had already made an offer and undergone a credit check," the developer added. "I've also heard that Susumu Fujita, president of digital advertising firm Cyberagent, has made a tentative offer on a ¥6.3 billion unit."

Maezawa was approached by Shincho's reporter about the rumors, but declined to answer. A spokesperson for Fujita, meanwhile, admitted he had paid a visit to the site but had "delayed" any decision regarding a purchase.

Given Japan's stagnant economy and declining population, some question the wisdom of the gleaming new complex, which may come to be viewed as an urban white elephant. Or as the writer puts it colorfully, "The Tower of Bubble, Reiwa Version."

Noting with irony that the soon to be completed high-rise will stand just three meters lower than the nearby Tokyo Tower -- a much-beloved symbol of Japan's rapid economic growth in the postwar era -- the writer opines that, considering the nation's prolonged slump the pricy accouterments of Mori's new complex seem so excessive, it strains one's credulity that anyone would actually want to live in it.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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Another soulless tower block development.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

These Mori places suck. Nothing for the non-rich. The anti-charm. No flavor.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The article quotes Mori’s PR saying the development will “combine the sophistication of a megalopolis with the intimacy of a small village in the heart of Tokyo." Intimacy? Small village?

I used to take walks in this area of Kamiyacho pre-construction. Back then it was a true little village. Of course, every other house either had sold out to Mori and was abandoned, or the remaining few had “Stop Mori” signs outside their house.

Sad to see what we are doing to Tokyo in the name of progress and greed.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Maybe the headline should read "Morizilla eats Kamiyacho."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Even if I was as rich as Musk, I wouldn't want to live at the top of a tower block. I just don't see the appeal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Mori has been destroying the beauty and land of Japan since the bubble burst.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I would rather be closer to terra firma, on my own land, able to cultivate and enjoy my garden.

Closer to the real world.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"Mori is said to have patiently nurtured plans for redeveloping the neighborhood from the 1980s."

Ha! Talk about spin! These developers are infamous vultures and will often use various means to get landowners to sell even as far as using the "semi-anti-social" members of society.

Patiently nurture, my tuchus!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Given Japan's stagnant economy and declining population, some question the wisdom of the gleaming new complex, which may come to be viewed as an urban white elephant.

They will have no problem. As most of us get poorer the elite classes will become super wealthy and they will want exceptionally expensive enclaves so they can flaunt their power. That's how it works.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

... just what we need. More buildings in Tokyo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Live in an actual small village, your life will be infinitely better.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just saw a news yesterday, about a single mom who cannot afford to flush the toilet every time so she keeps it once in 3 times because of recent price rise and she is desperate. What a unfair world we live in.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How nice of them to build yet more high-rises in Tokyo that will be filled with rich Chinese.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'd buy somel

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Up to now, the most expensive condominium unit ever sold in Japan was believed to have sold for ¥6.7 billion. But even the cheaper units in Aman will sell for several billion yen. Still, compared to real estate in other major world cities, properties in Japan are on the low side, so I think this place will stand out."

> In comparison, the penthouse in Manhattan's 131-floor Central Park Tower (which stands 472 meters high) was listed for sale at the equivalent of ¥36 billion.

For those prices, I'd buy some land on the outskirts and make my own real town except there'd be no elevators and no neighbors above, below nor close to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looks like this building will be Utopia for the 1% it will have everything they have to off.

The condo sales strategy appears to ascribe to the well-worn saying that "if you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it." If that's the case, then why would billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, have to undergo a credit check? Money or price shouldn't be an issue in his case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If that's the case, then why would billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, have to undergo a credit check?

It's likely that a credit check may be a legal requirement, to ascertain (for example) that the transaction would not be made with money laundered from another source, or with funds already collateralized from some other bank, and so on. At least one reputed billionaire, Donald Trump, is believed by many to have greatly inflated his assets in order to obtain financing for other projects.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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