Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Edifice Complex Time

Is this for real?

Mitsubishi Real Estate has announced plans to construct a new office tower north of Tokyo Station. It will be the tallest building in Japan, surpassing the current record holder, the Abeno Harukas of Osaka, by a whopping 90 meters. The building will also be way, way taller than the longtime standard measure of bigness, Tokyo Tower.

And yet only 61 floors. Kind of...a waste. (Link)

Two items of note:

1) The artist's rendition has the Shuto Expressway de-elevated -- brought down to street level -- and Nihombashi, the central measuring point of Edo Japan, standing in the sunshine for the first time since 1963 (arrow in the above).

If this change is for real and not just wishful thinking by the artist the project, despite its gargantuan proportions, will draw cheers. Getting rid of the elevated Shuto Expressway, built out over the river in order to avoid property acquisition issues, has been an essential dream of preservationists and urban specialists, not to mention Bank of Japan officials who have resented the Expressway's ruining of their neighborhood.

Of course the shade provided by the expressway has kept water temperatures in the river cooler, not a bad thing in a time of climate change, warm water discharge from domestic use and urban heat island effects...

2) As a markets indicator, the announcement is a real downer. The near completion of giant buildings traditionally presages a crash in stock and real estate markets.

The developer hopes to start construction of the building in 2023 with completion in fiscal year 2027.

So mark your calendars. And watch your wallets.

Image courtesy: Yomiuri Shimbun


F said...

The bridge with the arrow is indeed under the highway, but it's not Nihonbashi - it's the 4th bridge to the West of Nihonbashi.

MTC said...

F -

You are right about the bridge: it is not Nihombashi. Nevertheless, the Shuto Expressway is gone. I have heard numerous promises to bury the expressway. They always seemed disingenuous, encouraging citizens to OK projects based upon an impossible dream.

This artist's rendering, however, presumes the elimination of the elevated section.