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Tokyo wine apartments developer eyes expansion

The developer behind upscale Tokyo 'wine apartments' that include shared access to a 10,000-bottle wine cellar has said he plans to build more, after opening his first complex in the city.

(Sommelier Ishida Hiroshi has acted as a consultant to the development)

Takayuki Suzuki, owner of Inovv Inc property development firm, told decanter.com his first set of wine apartments, in the Japanese capital’s Shibuya district, are 70% rented.

Known as The Wine Apartments, monthly rents range from JPY239,000 to JPY258,000 (GBP1600), for a 42 to 46 square-metre space. The 18 flats each come with a wine fridge, plus shared access to an onsite sommelier and a basement wine cellar, which commands an extra fee.

‘The first renter has now moved in,’ Suzuki said. ‘Our typical clients are wine crazies, cooking instructors, wine importers, winery owners.’

He is planning a second wine apartment complex, also in Tokyo, to open in 2015.

Taizo Osawa, owner of Osawa winery in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay, confirmed to decanter.com that he has rented one apartment as a tasting space and plans to keep 300 bottles there.

Similar formats have had a mixed response elsewhere. ‘My flat also has wine cellar in a public space, but I’ve never seen anybody use it,’ said Tadashi Yasuda, director of Pillari Wine in Hong Kong.

A bistro is due to open at the Tokyo complex in November, charging JPY2,000 on residents’ own wines.

Written by Jane Anson

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