Mori Targets Global Tenants for Tokyo’s Toranomon Hills Tower

Mori Building Co., Japan’s biggest closely held developer, said it plans to attract global companies to its new building set to open in 2014, its biggest project since Roppongi Hills opened a decade ago.

The 52-story tower, a joint development with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, has a total gross floor area of 244,360 square meters (2.6 million square feet), according to materials distributed by Mori, which declined to disclose the cost of the project. The high rise, in one of Tokyo’s central business districts called Toranomon, will have shops, offices, apartments, a hotel and conference halls, according to Tokyo-based Mori.

Toranomon Hills is part of the Tokyo government’s 268 billion yen ($2.9 billion) project to revitalize the capital’s business districts where rents have fallen to record lows. The government is designating special neighborhoods to attract companies with global operations to set up their Asian headquarters by offering incentives including some on taxes.

“This is a special district designed to strengthen Japan’s international competitiveness and this new building will become the symbol of that strategy,” said President Shingo Tsuji at a press conference in Tokyo today. “Our purpose is to bring in more global companies to make it a hub.”

Rents for offices in Tokyo’s five central wards -- the heart of Tokyo’s shopping, entertainment and business districts -- have been dropping since the global financial crisis in 2008, according to Miki Shoji Co., an office brokerage company. They fell to a record low in January.

Roppongi Hills

The tower, the second-largest project for Mori in Japan in terms of size, is located on top of the government-planned Loop Road No. 2, an expressway shaped like a half circle connecting the south of the city to the west and north that makes it faster to get around by car, according to Mori.

The $2.2 billion Roppongi Hills, with a gross floor area of 379,408 square meters, opened in April 2003 and was billed as Japan’s biggest office tower at the time. It has attracted tenants including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Apple Inc. plans to moves its Tokyo headquarters there as early as April, two people familiar with the plan said in January.

Mori, the landlord of 107 buildings in Tokyo, said it obtained the rights to develop the land in Toranomon in 2009 and owns part of the new building. Office area with about 99,800 square meters of space will be located from the sixth to 35th floors, while the rest will be shops and conference halls with parking spaces located in the three basement floors, it said.

Andaz, a boutique-style brand owned by Hyatt Hotels Corp., will occupy the top floors, while apartments will be located right below the hotel, according to Mori.

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