Redevelopment plans in Tokyo
Tokyo is currently experiencing a time of intensifying global intercity competition. The centers of big cities around the world such as London, Paris, and New York, are going to change greatly and be reborn through the effort various redevelopment plans. Various redevelopment projects are in progress in many areas of central Tokyo. These redevelopments are linked to government-led programs such as the National Strategic Special Zone, launched in 2013, and the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters launched, in 2011. The redevelopments are aimed at increasing the competitiveness of Tokyo as a cutting edge international city on the global stage. In addition, holding the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 will create further opportunities and motivation for redevelopments in Tokyo, in turn causing central Tokyo to accomplish a remarkable change by about 2025.
Here are the major redevelopment plans that are in that have been set in motion and their prospects in Tokyo. These are projects are either in progress or will be completed before and after 2020 Olympics.
Major real estate developments in Tokyo leading up to the Olympics 2020.
Toranomon - Azabudai Redevelopment
The redevelopment will cover an area of about 8.1hectare. This includes the construction of 7 buildings, with a total floor area of about 820,000 square meters, and a 300m tall building.
Through this redevelopment plan, various enhancements in the planned area will be completed simultaneously such as; construction of new roads running south-north and east-west for connecting the neighboring major streets; construction of new a pedestrian road network connecting Metro Kamiyacho Station and Roppongi-itchome Station; construction of a green space and a large-scale open space utilizing the landscape of the planned area; improvement of safety by eliminating crowded areas of wooden buildings. In addition, various facilities with the purpose of creating a favorable living environment for foreigners will be constructed. Such facilities include an international education facility, a facility for supporting foreigners’ life and socialization, and about 1300units in total of residence and lodging facilities to meet various needs.
Roppongi district, is one of the major areas in Tokyo with business, commerce, and culture that attracts many foreigners. The cityscape here has changed greatly due to redevelopments taking place over the past 10 years. Some of the main changes include the construction of landmarks such as Roppongi Hills, Izumi Garden Tower, Tokyo Midtown, and Ark Hills Sengokuyama Mori Tower. As the district also overlaps with the Special Zone for Asian Headquarters, government agencies and the private sector will work together to enhance the city planning and development. A category 1 Urban Redevelopment Project in eastern Roppongi 3-chome is currently in progress, while the plan for Urban Redevelopment in western Roppongi 5-chome (Roppongi 5-chome, Minato-ku) will be decided by the end of the year.
Toranomon Redevelopment – A new international urban center
The completion of Toranomon Hills is regarded as the beginning of the redevelopment in the district. The newly opened section of Loop Road No.2, which currently runs through Toranomon and Shimbashi, will be connected with the bay-side areas in 2016, enabling access to Tokyo Int’l Airport within a time frame of 20 min. from Toranomon Hills. Increasing the accessibility will attract foreign business and increase tourism as the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 draw near. Redevelopment in Central Tokyo will be accelerated heading towards the Tokyo Olympics, with the plan for a “New International Urban Center” in the Toranomon district being one of its highlights. In the Toranomon district many landmark buildings and facilities will be reborn over the next 10 years. The major redevelopment projects in progress are reconstruction of Hotel Okura Tokyo Main building; construction of 2 high rise buildings for Toranomon Hospital and other facilities in Toranomon 2-Chome District; and construction of a high rise twin towers in the former location of Toranomon Pastoral Hotel.
The plan for the construction of a new subway station is also in progress. The proposed location for the subway station is between Kasumigaseki and Kamiyacho stations near Toranomon Hills. The construction of the subway is aimed at further improving transportation access to every area in Tokyo.
Redeveloping Shinagawa - New train station and multipurpose city project underway
On June 3rd of 2014, JR East finally revealed its much anticipated plan to open the new train station, ‘New Shinagawa Station’. It is planned to open between the Shinagawa and Tamachi stations on the Keihin Tohoku Line and will be the 30th station of the Yamanote Line during the Olympics in 2020. The new station will provide an easy connection to Metro Sengakuji station with direct access to Haneda airport and Narita airport. It will be the nearest JR station (2 min. ride) to Shinagawa Station which is slated to also serve as a terminal for the maglev shinkansen train service to begin in 2027. The station will be close to Haneda Airport where more and more international flights will be arriving. Opening this new station will improve transportation access and accelerate the changing dynamic of the area around Shinagawa. Simultaneous to the opening of the new station, the plan also includes the construction of an international exchange hub by redeveloping the extensive 13ha (hectare) area which currently acts as the west part of the rail yard. According to JR EAST, walkways will be made on the second floor to provide easy access to nearby areas. A huge ceiling is also planned to be constructed over the new station. Opening the new station will further accelerate the redevelopment and changing of the area around the Takanawa Exit on the west side of Shinagawa Station, and will also accelerate the enhancement of major streets around the area.
The area around the new station also overlaps with the “International strategic special zone” which was designated by the Japanese Government on December 2011, and new town planning aimed for inviting more foreign corporations to the area is currently in progress.
New large-scale redevelopment around Shibuya Station
In many areas around Shibuya Station, large-scale redevelopment construction is now under way. The redevelopment areas are divided largely into 4 blocks, “Shibuya Station Block“, “Shibuya Station South Block“, “Dogenzaka Block“, and “Sakuragaoka Block“. The redevelopment work in all of these areas will be large scale and also include new high-rise buildings. This area around Shibuya Station will be reborn and surrounded with new high-rise buildings by 2020 when the Tokyo Olympics will be held. The plan includes allowing easy access between each high-rise building by using pedestrian decks and underground passages. The street level promenades and open spaces will be full of beautifully planted greenery, and Hachi-ko Square, a famous meeting place will be expanded to 1.5 times its current size. One of the objectives for these redevelopment projects is “to make an environment that cultivates high quality creative contents” and also to enhance the attractiveness of Shibuya as a business hub. The redevelopment aims to improve the business environment for foreign companies in hopes of advancing their business in Japan, and also additional support facilities for tourists and entrepreneurs from Japan and overseas. In the residential block the plan also includes increasing life style support facilities and international medical facilities to help residents, workers, and foreign business people and emphasizes an “International City Shibuya”.
As the whole town will be redeveloped with infrastructure enhancements, disaster prevention measures, and planting additional trees and greenery, Shibuya will become an international base for transmitting Japanese culture to the world and attracting people from all walks of life.
Redevelopment plans for the Yaesu district of Tokyo Station
Large-scale redevelopment plans have been launched in the Yaesu district near Tokyo Station. Redevelopment in the Yaesu district is far behind in comparison with that of the Marunouchi district on the other side of Tokyo Station. In Yaesu district there are many old, small multi-tenant buildings huddled together and many bus stations dispersed throughout the district. The overall town planning includes high rise buildings with office floors, conference halls, hotels, and commercial facilities inside, and also a large-scale open space and bus terminal all fused together within the area.
There are currently 3 major redevelopment plans underway, which are “Yaesu 2-Chome North District Redevelopment“” led by Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., “Yaesu 1-Chome East District Redevelopment” led by Tokyo Tatemono Co., Ltd., and “Tokiwabashi District Redevelopment Project” led by Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. These redevelopment plans aim at improving city functions and reinforcing Yaesu’s international competitiveness. The developments will receive government support by way of special deregulations designated in governments “The Plan for National Strategic Special Zones”. As these redevelopments move forward, many skyscrapers will be erected, huge bus terminals and international convention facilities will be established, and the Yaesu district, which is one of the doorways of Tokyo Station and the capital city of Japan, will change dramatically in its outlook and role after the years of the Olympic Games.
New developments in Tokyo’s Koto-ward, Toyosu area, 2015
Redevelopments in Toyosu are mainly divided into 2 blocks - the town planning project for the area of Toyosu 1, 2, and 3 Chome which started in 2001 and is currently nearing its final stage; and the large scale redevelopment plans in Toyosu Wharf district (6 Chome Area) which has been drawing attention since the relocation of Tsukiji Fish Market to Toyosu New Market was decided.
In the Toyosu 2-3 Chome area in front of Toyosu Station, the last large-scale undeveloped block (2-1 block with approximately 4.3ha), the project for building complex office and commercial facilities will soon start construction. In the 6 Chome area, one after another, various redevelopment projects and plans are in progress. The commercial facility will be built beside the New Market facilities; and on the east side of 6 Chome district near Shin-Toyosu Station, a large-scale condominium and housing construction, which is called “Tokyo Wonderful Project”, is underway. In addition, Tokyo Gas, which owns land of approximately 20ha in the 6 Chome district, launched the town design plan named “Tokyo Smart City TOYOSU22”, which aims to create a new town to last into the 22nd century. Along the west side of the district, it aims at constructing a mixed-use land city area with residence, business, and commercial functions. In June 2011 Koto-ku proposed the “Toyosu Green Eco Island Design” for the Toyosu Wharf district, which described the town image of 15 years later aiming at creating a new town full of green and with consideration for environment and disaster prevention. Based on those future images and designs, Toyosu will evolve continuously after the Tokyo Olympic Games, with the aim of becoming the most advanced environment friendly town with a full line of the latest disaster prevention functions.
Current new developments in Tokyo’s Koto-ward