TOKYO - Major real estate firm Mitsubishi Estate Co is planning to start a roughly 50 billion yen (US$439 million) redevelopment project featuring office buildings, apartments and hotels in what is now a run-down district in front of a central train stati
Mitsubishi Estate plans to draw on its experience of developing Tokyo’s Marunouchi into a world-class business district to create a Myanmar version in Yangon. The company is also planning similar projects in other Southeast Asian nations.
Mitsubishi Estate is looking into a 40,000-square-metre site in front of Yangon’s central railway station, which serves as a gateway to Yangon. The district is currently filled with dilapidated offices and other buildings.
Mitsubishi Estate is working with Mitsubishi Corp. and a local real estate firm in Myanmar for the project, which is now under way, to build multiple high-rise buildings that will house offices, commercial facilities, apartments and hotel accommodations. The total project is estimated to cost about 50 billion yen.
Myanmar is facing real estate development woes, including office shortages stemming from its rapid economic growth. The landscape of the Marunouchi district in front of Tokyo Station, which was rapidly developed from the Meiji era (1868-1912) through the rapid postwar growth period, has been cited as a good model for the Yangon development project.
Marunouchi grew into a town that attracts many visitors as a gateway to Japan, home to the offices of leading companies as well as retail stores, restaurants and hotels.
Mitsubishi Estate is aiming to work on similar development projects in other South Asian countries by promoting its approach to build complex facilities on prime urban real estate.
“We will export our urban development system,” Mitsubishi Estate President Hirotaka Sugiyama told The Yomiuri Shimbun. “The Yangon project will be an opportunity to introduce our approach.”
Investment rising sharply
Investment in Myanmar has sharply risen since the country made its transition in 2011 from military rule to a democratic government.
According to the Japan External Trade OrganiSation, foreign investment in fiscal 2014 stood at $8 billion — twice as much as the previous fiscal year.
Japan-affiliated firms have entered into business in Myanmar one after another during its economic expansion period. There are now more than 280 companies belonging to the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar. Buildings are rapidly sprouting up, concentrated in the Yangon area. There are also more and more businesspeople visiting Myanmar, resulting in expensive rent for office buildings even for Southeast Asia as well as relatively high hotel charges.