Osaka Maritime Museum to sell for 0.3% of original cost – JAPAN PROPERTY CENTRAL K.K.

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Built at a cost of 17.6 billion Yen, this long-closed museum was recently offered for 56 million Yen, or just 0.3% of its original cost.

The Osaka Maritime Museum / Naniwa-no-umi-no-jikukan has been a financial burden on the city since its completion in 2000. Since opening, visitor numbers hovered around a sixth of initial estimates, causing it to operate in the red each year to the tune of 200 ~ 300 million Yen before closing in 2013.

Over 60% of the 100,000 annual visitors were elementary and middle school children who could enter for free.

Since then, the city has struggled find a private company willing to take over operations. In 2017 there was a proposal to convert it into a hotel, spa and manga museum, but the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 saw that proposal evaporate.

In 2023, the public proposal process was re-started with the offer to sell the building for 56 million Yen (approx. US$370,000) with the land to be leased. Two applications from potential buyers have been received, with the winning bidder to be announced later this month. And while the building may be sold, the new owner will have to bear the cost of demolition or removal of that structure at the end of the 30-year fixed-term land lease. The city had previously estimated that removing the structure would cost around 800 million Yen (US$5.3 million).

The geodesic dome-shaped structure was designed by French architect Paul Andreu and is covered in 4,208 panels of glass. Inside, the museum has a reconstructed Edo-period style Higaki-Kaisen ship built at a cost of 1 billion Yen.

Source: The Sankei Shimbun, November 9, 2023.


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