It took Kintetsu Corp. four years and 130 billion yen (approx. US$1.26 billion) to construct the building. The 60-floor complex will house a Marriott International Hotel and a proposed casino, which aims to attract tourists and customers in a bid to boost the city’s economy and attract more companies. Daita Obata, assistant manager for real estate brokerage firm Miki Shoji Corp., said the building has almost filled up its office space. “However, most of the occupants are coming from the areas around Osaka. It’s not having a big impact,” he said. Miyuki Nakayama, spokesperson for Sharp, confirmed that some of its sales staff would be transferring to the new building.
The name Abeno Harukas comes from the word Abena, where the building is constructed, and Harukas, which is an old expression in Japanese that means to brighten or clear up. Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli architects in New Haven, Connecticut, who designed Malaysia’s Petronas Towers, is the same designer for the Abeno Harukas. Kintetsu boasts of the building’s views as it claims to be the first building every morning to receive the light of the rising sun. “Visitors to the top floor will be treated to a spectacular view seen nowhere else,” it said on its website. With Osaka still Asia’s third biggest metropolitan economy, the new building and proposed economic zones hope to lure investors to the city as Tokyo continues to attract companies, leaving Osaka with vacant offices.