Redevelopment continues even in Tokyo suburbs Musashi Kosugi to become the second Denenchofu?

Redevelopment continues even in Tokyo suburbs
Musashi Kosugi to become the "second Denenchofu"?

In this column we have often mentioned redevelopment in city centres. It continues steadily in areas such as Tokyo station, Shinagawa, Toranomon, Shibuya and many others. However, it is not only central Tokyo that sees this forward march of redevelopment. Even in the suburbs there are areas where the cityscape seems to completely transform due to redevelopment.

One representative example is Musashi Kosugi. Musashi Kosugi is a station on the other side of the Tama River from Tokyo, with its station in Kawasaki City's Nakahara ward. In addition to 4 lines such as the JR Yokosuka and Tokyu Toyoko line, it is also a through line for the JR Shonan Shinjuku line. When crossing the Tamagawa river from the Tokyo side, you will be greeted with a view of commercial facilities and tower apartments. Its greatest selling point is probably the fact that it is roughly 13 minutes from Shibuya station, 18 minutes from Shinjuku, and 18 minutes from Tokyo. Further, it was once an industrial area, meaning that plenty of land was available for use as residential or commercial land; one of the factors pushing redevelopment forward.

The big changes started in the period between 2008 and 2010. Since the extension of the Tokyu Meguro line, or the opening of the Musashi Kosugi JR Yokosuka line station, Kawasaki city, JR, Tokyu Corporation and major real estate companies have worked together to open the floodgates for redevelopment. Currently, there are at least 10 tower apartments over 30 stories around the station.

As a result, land prices around Musashi Kosugi soared. Since 2000, the average price of public land has been in the range of 300,000 to the mid-three hundred thousands of yen per square meter, but since it started to rise in 2007 it has now reached near 900,000 in 2017. Naturally, condominium prices are also rising, and newly built tower apartments are rarely seen for less than 50 million yen. On the higher floors, prices near 100 million aren't rare either.

In 2015 the population of Nakahara ward, where Musashikosugi station is located, increased more than any other government designated city in Japan, and there are now plans to continue redevelopment of the north-central area of the station going forward. If this population growth maintains such a steady rate, Musashi Kosugi may become known as a "Celebrity Town" like Jiyugaoka and Denenchofu also on the Tokyu Toyoko line.

Similarly, another station that is currently seeing drastic changes in the suburbs of Tokyo is Tachikawa. The three lines that pass through it are the JR Chuo line, the JR Nanbu line and the Tama city monorail. On the Chuo line it's 27 minutes to Shinjuku, and 41 minutes to Tokyo, making it significantly less convenient than Musashikosugi. Further, there is a glut of buildings around the station, meaning that, particularly around the south side of the station, redevelopment hasn't yet been achieved. On top of this, there are large shops such as Takashimaya and Isetan, as well as a Bic camera on the north side, that leave little room for redevelopment.

The reason Tachikawa is gaining attention in spite of all this is that the northwest part slightly away from the station holds large amounts of land. This area was originally used by the US military for the Tachikawa base, and includes a 2000m long runway among other military-use areas. In addition to this, the surroundings hold many factories of companies that manufacture fighter planes and transport equipment such as Showa Airways and Tachikawa Airlines (now Tachihi Holdings).

In 1977, the land for Tachikawa base was completely returned to Japan, with some being used for the Ground Self Defense Force Tachikawa Residence, and the national Showa memorial park. Currently, the redevelopment is largely proceeding in the surrounding factory areas. In April of 2014 an IKEA opened, with the large scale commercial facility "Lalaport" following in December of 2015. In July, "Tachikawa Tacros", a high-rise building connected directly to Tachikawa station's north exit opened. Additionally, this Autumn a 3000 person capacity event hall called "Arena Tachikawa Tachihi is planned to open, in addition to plans for music halls, hotels, and office buildings around 2020.

Against the backdrop of such redevelopment, land prices are still rising, and 2017 has seen average land prices in Tachikawa city at around 400,000 per square meter. However, considering they had been at around 300,000 around 2004 to 2005 when the price rise first started, it seems there is still room for increase. Within a ten minute walk from Tachikawa station there are areas that have seen incredible rises, with newly built condominiums fetching upwards of 70 million yen if they are in the region of 70 to 80㎡. Since the amount of land near to the station is limited, it seems the cause of these price rises is that the effects of the area's popularity have been concentrated. Going forward, the northwestern area of the station will see redevelopment, and real estate demand on that side will likely grow. (Continued)