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Business

Mori Building has lofty ambitions for Asian skylines

Japanese developer eyes tallest office building in Tokyo, expansion into SE Asia

Mori Building's planned mixed-use complex in Tokyo's Toranomon business district will boast some 800,000 sq. meters of floor space.

TOKYO -- Japan's Mori Building will construct a skyscraper in Southeast Asia in its first foray abroad in nearly a decade, even as it works on an ambitious project at home to help draw global finance firms to Tokyo.

The developer will build a 266-meter skyscraper in downtown Jakarta, its first such project in Southeast Asia and its first major overseas undertaking since the Shanghai World Financial Center that opened in 2008. The 59-story office and commercial building, expected to cost more than 50 billion yen ($453 million), will have around 190,000 sq. meters of floor space. It is slated for completion in 2021.

Mori Building will team with a local partner on the project, though it will retain a majority interest. Construction will be handled by Japan's Shimizu and an Indonesian company. The building is to be designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, an American firm whose past work includes the Shanghai World Financial Center and Mori Building's Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.

This may be just the beginning for Mori Building's Southeast Asian business. The company set up a local arm in Singapore last year and is surveying the state of real estate development in the region.

This comes alongside plans for a new skyscraper in Tokyo's Toranomon business district. The Toranomon Hills Station Tower will be integrated with the new Toranomon subway station, slated to open before the 2020 Olympics. The 48-story, 265-meter tower will be the Japanese capital's tallest office building, beating out the nearby Toranomon Hills Mori Tower.

Mori Building will break ground as early as fiscal 2018, aiming to finish in fiscal 2022. The project is expected to cost around 100 billion yen.

The developer aims to use the tower to attract foreign financial firms, in line with Gov. Yuriko Koike's goal of turning the capital into an international finance hub. The building will also include a world-class hotel to draw business travelers. The top floor will serve as a space for entrepreneurs and others to get the word out about innovative new businesses.

The project will utilize the strategic special zone scheme, a set of measures to encourage deregulation and speed up urban planning in designated areas. This lets the developer work with a much looser floor area ratio requirement -- the maximum ratio of usable floor space to the size of the lot housing the building. The proposal will be released as early as this week.

Station Tower is part of a planned four-building complex, including the existing Mori Tower, that will boast some 800,000 sq. meters of floor space. Mori Building aims to complete the two other buildings before the Olympics.

(Nikkei)

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