"Possibilities of Warehouse Management
in Tokyo Bay Area"
Hiroo Ikeda (Director, Tokyo Souko Unyu Co.,Ltd.)
Major characteristics of warehouse industry include the followings:
Firstly, warehouse industry is the social infrastructure. In the Yayoi
Era, rice granaries had already existed; in later times, warehouses
have continued to exist changing their styles according to the society
of each era. Secondly, it is the service industry belonging to tertiary
industry. Thirdly, warehouse industry is unable to escape its fate
to change according to time. Today, it is required to respond to foreign
Shibaura district, where many warehouses exist, was formed by reclamation.
Because many canals crisscross, urban improvement has been focused
on the canal, for example, canal festival. Other characteristics are
convenient transportation networks, and coexistence of old and new
buildings. Various logistics facilities are considered to be the brand
of Minato-ku, along with Roppongi Hills.
Now again, the warehouses are changing. Many warehouses have been
converted (refined) into new spaces.
Solid structure, high floor load capacity, great ceiling height, and
large intervals between columns of old warehouses, have been utilized
for creating attractive universal spaces. Based on the tenant information
from "e-sohko.com", warehouses have been renewed (refined)
according to market needs, increasing values of existing properties
(earning rate and asset quality).
Now I will introduce some of the cases of warehouse refinement. Otaru
Canal, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse, and Juriana Tokyo, a popular disco
club of the early 1990's, was also converted from a warehouse. The
facilities were converted into a sport shop. Now I will introduce overseas
cases: DUMBO project of New York, and areas below Manhattan Bridge
is attracting attentions in recent years. Many artists moved to the
area because of the sharp increase of land price of Manhattan area.
Convenient transportation network, and nice views attracted various
shops, caf_s, and galleries. In apartment buildings converted from
warehouses, many artists and musicians live and form creative spaces
as their bases for activities. This area was originally developed based
on marine transportation; however, along with the decline of the industry
by the development of land transportation, it was transformed into
artistic town based on the conversion of port facilities which had
been mostly abandoned as the industrial legacy. Such conversion activated
the whole area, attracting many people and lots of cutting-edge shops.
In recent years, venture companies connecting IT and arts, are also
entering this area.
The rents of warehouses are generally lower than other office buildings.
It has been rare to convert warehouses into office buildings, though
recently, such cases are often found where characteristics of warehouses
such as low rents and large spaces are well utilized.
The management of warehouses is essentially different from those of
offices and apartment buildings regarding way of thinking. For offices
and apartment buildings, location comes first, then architecture and
tenants will be selected. For warehouses, on the other hand, tenants
are the most important factor because construction is remade based
on the requirements of them, which can create original spaces. From
the viewpoint of economy, conversion leads to increase asset quality
of their warehouses. For tenants, conversion serves to increase rents,
which still are half of those of surrounding office buildings. As described
above, conversion brings about merits for both owners of warehouses
In the last place, future Shibaura district should provide the space
where old and new buildings and people coexist. Original urban improvement
should be more promoted, utilizing ships and canals which are the assets
of Shibaura, in cooperation with local administration and private companies,
looking for a way to differentiate this area from other cities.
Refinement 1 (Warehouse to Office)]
2 (Warehouse to Dance Studio)]
for Warehouse Refinement]
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