News On Japan

High-End Apartments Sprout in Osaka's Umeda

OSAKA, May 18 (News On Japan) - The Umeda area in Osaka is seeing a surge in high-rise apartment construction, including a 49-story residential skyscraper south of JR Osaka Station.

The Brillia Tower Dojima, with its distinctive yacht sail-inspired exterior, houses 457 units. Prices start at approximately 50 million yen, with the highest-priced unit at an astounding 1.08 billion yen.

Yamamoto Maho, Reporter: 'The top floor, accessible only to residents, offers a panoramic view of Osaka City. I wish I could live here too!'

The building features amenities such as a lounge and fitness room. Of the 376 units already on sale, 373 have been sold.

Hitoshi Nomura, President of Tokyo Tatemono: 'We are delighted to have completed a flagship property for Kansai.'

Currently, similar luxury tower apartments are being built around Umeda.

Mika Kasamatsu, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of SUUMO: 'A 40-story building with over 500 units is planned here.'

Near Brillia Tower Dojima, another 40-story tower apartment is under construction. According to real estate website SUUMO, within a 15-minute walk of six stations in the Umeda area, 13 apartments with a total of over 3,000 units have been built over the past six years since 2017.

Umeda, where the first JR Osaka Station was completed 150 years ago, has long been the largest terminal in western Japan, with numerous commercial facilities and office buildings. Why is there now a surge in apartment construction in this prime commercial area of Kansai?

Kasamatsu: 'Umeda has traditionally been seen as a commercial hub and an office area, but it's increasingly being viewed as a residential area where people can live and work nearby.'

Additionally, younger generations are focusing on the high 'asset value' of the area. In a survey asking about the most desirable places to live in Kansai, Umeda ranked first for three consecutive years, surpassing Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi and Kobe-Sannomiya.

This trend is further accelerated by the development of the 'Ume-kita Phase 2' area north of JR Osaka Station, set to open in September. Two tower apartments will be built near a vast park, almost the size of Koshien Stadium.

As Umeda transforms into a residential area, a challenge emerges.

Kasamatsu: 'While the population in Osaka City is rapidly increasing, suburban areas are experiencing a decline, which raises concerns about Osaka City becoming overly dominant.'

The redevelopment of Umeda could invigorate the entire Kansai region. This remains to be seen.

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