Apple planning to move its headquarters in Tokyo

, Bloomberg

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Apple Inc. plans to move its Tokyo headquarters to the Roppongi Hills complex from Shinjuku as early as April, according to two people familiar with the iPhone maker's plan.

Apple plans to take one or two floors in the office tower at Roppongi Hills, a $2.2 billion development owned by Mori Building Co., Japan's biggest closely held developer, according to the people, who declined to be identified because the information hasn't been made public.

Office rents for Tokyo's central five wards have been declining since the global financial crisis in 2008, according to Miki Shoji Co., an office brokerage company. They fell to a record low of $185 per tsubo in December, the broker said. A tsubo, the standard measure of property in Japan, is 3.3 square meters, or 35.5 square feet.

"Rents of large office buildings in central Tokyo peaked in the second quarter of 2008 and have fallen 40 percent from the peak," Kayoko Hirao, the head of Japan research at DTZ Research in Tokyo, said in a phone interview today. "It is a good time to consider an office relocation to the central business area and it should be a good chance for Apple. The office rental market will recover this year."

The 54-story office building at Roppongi Hills is home to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc. The complex, located in one of Tokyo's most-famous nightclub districts, includes a Grand Hyatt hotel, an office tower, apartment buildings, an art museum and a private club.

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