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.
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.