About a month ago, our illustrious leader Peter Payne published an article on the J-List blog which mentioned just a few of the many businesses that the worldwide pandemic has caused to shut down, including the famous Akihabara landmark, the Sega Building 2 video game arcade. Unfortunately though, business must go on and the building, which is officially known as the Dai Ichi Handa Building, has been put up for rent by the owners. If you’re not aware, the building has seven floors, which equals about 11,991 square feet of total floor space. Sound like a great place to open your new otaku based business? Great, all you have to do it sign on the dotted line and fork over about 2 million dollars for the first year.
How did the building owners come up with that figure? Well, let’s break it down…
First, there’s the base rent which is 15.4 million yen ($146,500 USD) per month. But, you have to pay for a year in advance, which means 184.8 million yen (just under $1.75 million USD) right off the bat. Oh, plus an extra month’s rent as “key money” which is a customary gratuity that is paid to the landlord whenever you move into a new place in Japan. Keep in mind, that’s just the money that you’re paying to move in. You still have to pay to fill up all seven floors with your merchandise and business goods.
No problem, you might be thinking. Instead of renting the building, I’ll just take advantage of its amazing location to advertise my business with banners on the outside for free. Wrong!
If you want to advertise anything on the outside of the building, you have to rent the exterior walls to do so, which is going to cost you 350,000 yen (US$3,300) a month.
In other words; “location, location, location” is the rule that applies here and anyone who wants to take advantage of the abundant Akihabara foot traffic to open a new (or even an established) business in this building had better have a sound business strategy in mind or else we’ll be adding them to the original list in a hurry.