Azabudai Hills, the latest large-scale real estate project by Mori Building Co., will open for business on Nov. 24, seeking to boost Tokyo’s attractiveness as an international destination.
(Bloomberg) — Azabudai Hills, the latest large-scale real estate project by Mori Building Co., will open for business on Nov. 24, seeking to boost Tokyo’s attractiveness as an international destination.
The project eclipses the builder’s signature development, Roppongi Hills, and shares many of the same elements — shops, restaurants, offices, residences and a top-tier hotel. New will be an international school within the ¥580 billion ($4 billion) complex, as well as the city’s biggest food market.
Although the island nation’s population is shrinking, the real estate developer is betting its capital will thrive for decades to come. The metropolis of 14 million still attracts tourists and foreign talent, as well as the wealthy. Although a post-pandemic office recovery has yet to take hold, investors are snapping up hotels with renewed zeal.
“We were able to create a great town,” Shingo Tsuji, Mori’s chief executive officer, said at news conference on the 33rd floor of the recently built Mori JP Tower. “This is a new chapter for cities, and Tokyo will keep changing.”
Mori Building has been pursuing the goal of building bigger and better Hills projects ever since the 1986 debut of Ark Hills, one of the first in Japan designed to combine retail, office, residential and cultural spaces. Beyond Azabudai Hills, the developer is looking to add a bigger complex with a new endeavor in Roppongi that will probably break ground within the decade.
Ground broke in 2019 on Azabudai Hills, which will connect two subway stations and create an arterial road to relieve the impact on vehicle traffic. The development, with Japan’s tallest building and two residential towers, will have 150 retail outlets, 1,400 residences and 214,500 square meters of office space.
Janu, a new luxury hotel brand by the Aman Group, will debut at the complex. In addition to medical facilities, there will also be an art gallery and a TeamLab digital art museum.
The mega project has been more than 30 years in the making; work on it started even before Roppongi Hills. Mori’s employees spent years going door to door, persuading local residents and property owners to hand over their land in exchange for prime residential space in the new buildings.
Mori’s suffix for its biggest developments — there’s also Toranomon Hills and Ark Hills — harks backs to that other tony neighborhood, Beverly Hills. It’s also a nod to the Japanese word Yamanote. Transliterated as “the hill’s hand,” the term refers to the more desirable, hilly land west of the Imperial Palace in feudal Tokyo that now include Mori’s properties.
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