Demolition Underway in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Area for Massive Redevelopment

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The southern section of the southwest exit area of Shinjuku Station, where demolition began

Demolition has begun around the southwest exit of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station, as part of a large-scale redevelopment project.

Keio Department Store’s Shinjuku outlet, which opened in 1964, and the Lumine 1 Shopping Mall, which is popular with young people, will be transformed into a large complex by the 2040s. Keio Corp. and East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) are handling the redevelopment.

The project covers about 16,300 square meters north to south in an area divided by the Koshu Kaido road. Demolition started in late April in the southern section that houses the JR Shinjuku Building, which was built before the Japanese National Railways was split up and eventually privatized.

According to the plan announced by Keio and JR East, a 37-story, 225-meter-high building complex will be completed in the southern area in 2028.

No date has been set for the start of demolition in the northern section, a crowded shopping area that is home to Keio Department Store and other stores. A 19-story, 110-meter complex will be built on the site in the 2040s, but the area’s stores will remain open for now.

Both buildings will contain hotels and commercial facilities, according to the companies.

A redevelopment project by Odakyu Electric Railway Co. and Tokyo Metro has already begun in the adjacent west exit area.

The demolition of the main building of Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku, which opened in 1967, began in October last year. Along with the Keio Department Store, the Odakyu store had been affectionately known as the “face of Shinjuku Station’s west exit.”

Keio announced on May 12 that the Shinjuku outlet of Keio Department Store posted sales of about ¥65.3 billion in fiscal 2022, up 19.8% from the previous fiscal year. In contrast, sales at Odakyu Department Store’s Shinjuku outlet were down 15.6% from the previous year to about ¥53.7 billion, according to Odakyu.

A Keio spokesperson said this may be due to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, as well as the influx of Odakyu department store customers into the area.

“We’ll continue to take steps so that the bustle of the west area will not be interrupted during the redevelopment,” the spokesperson said.