CBRE Japan Plans Move to Marunouchi to Attract Talented Workers

CBRE Group Inc., the world’s biggest real estate services company by market value, is moving its Tokyo operations to new premises in the Marunouchi district, consolidating four separate locations.

CBRE, with about 550 staff in Tokyo, will move on April 7 to Meiji Yasuda Seimei Building near the Imperial Palace from its main office in JEI Hamamatsucho Building, south of Tokyo station, said Craig Hudleston, managing director of occupier services for CBRE KK, the Japanese unit of CBRE. The new space is owned by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., while Hamamatsucho building is owned by Japan Excellent Inc., a real estate investment trust.

Marunouchi, the neighborhood around Tokyo station, is home to local units of global financial companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. Morgan Stanley was among the latest additions to the district.

CBRE chose Marunouchi because it will improve its “ability to recruit A-grade talent” and because of its proximity to clients and “key transport hubs,” Hudleston said in an e-mail.

Office rents of higher quality buildings in central Tokyo are on the rise. Average asking rent rose to 30,650 yen ($300) per tsubo in the fourth quarter from 29,800 yen per tsubo a year earlier, CBRE said in a report. Tsubo, a standard measure of property area in Japan, is 3.3 square meters or 35.5 square feet.

Consolidating Offices

CBRE, headquartered in Los Angeles, is moving from its space in Hamamatsucho and three other offices located in Nihonbashi and Shinjuku in central Tokyo and neighboring Saitama prefecture. In the new office, employees can choose where they sit depending on the project they’re working on. It will also include a 100-seat cafe, said Hudleston.

“Our office is separated into districts by each of our divisions, but our professionals are not restricted to that area or a specific desk,” he said. “Our professionals can now customize their work experience to their specific work style needs at anytime and from anywhere.”

Japan’s commercial real estate market is showing signs of a recovery. Office vacancies, a measure of unoccupied space, in Tokyo fell to 7.01 percent in February from 8.57 percent a year earlier, according to brokerage Miki Shoji Co.

CBRE, which had 1,390 tsubo of space previously, will occupy 1,140 tsubo in the new building because of a more efficient use of space, Hudleston said.

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