Tokyo's famed Imperial Hotel to undergo $2bn teardown and makeover

Nikkei -- Mar 17
The Imperial Hotel Tokyo, a historic luxury hotel renowned for hosting international dignitaries as well as the world's rich and famous, will experience a nearly $2 billion reconstruction with a reopening slated for fiscal 2036, Nikkei has learned.

The rebuild will take place toward the end of an urban renewal project for the surrounding Uchisaiwaicho district in the capital led by real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan, in what has been called the biggest post-Olympic redevelopment project in the capital.

Imperial Hotel, the operator of the landmark institution, will make an official announcement later this month. A high-rise annex will be completed as early as fiscal 2030 before the main building is rebuilt. The company has yet to decide whether to continue business at a different site during the reconstruction. The new hotel is expected to maintain the same majestic ambience.

Construction of the main building and the annex tower are expected to cost in excess of 200 billion yen ($1.83 billion).

Founded in 1890, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo is known internationally for its second-generation main building designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which opened in 1923. It later hosted such notable guests as Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio on their honeymoon as well as Helen Keller.

The current main building is aging, having opened its doors in 1970. The 17-story building with about 570 rooms has a 31-story tower annex, which was finished in 1983 as Japan's first hotel doubling as a commercial building.

The operator wants to enhance the hotel's competitiveness against global luxury giants and seeks to raise room rates after the makeover.

- Nikkei