Enter the Gate and on to a New City

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Surrounded by small factories and old apartments, Osaki was until the late 1980s best described as an unfashionable town, known as the place where the Yamanote Line’s trains finished their daily rounds.

However, in 1987, the area just outside the east exit of Osaki Station was reborn with the opening of the commercial complex Ohsaki New City.

With the launch in February 1999 of another complex, Gate City Ohsaki, the area’s transformation into one of Tokyo’s trendy spots was complete, with its use as a setting for TV dramas and commercials confirming its new cool reputation.

The two complexes are part of ongoing redevelopment projects around Osaki Station initiated by Shinagawa Ward. As both lie east of the station and are connected by a footbridge, they together make one giant complex.

Ohsaki New City has four office buildings and one hotel housing some 80 companies, 35 restaurants and shops, as well as a public museum within a 3-hectare site.

The 5.9-hectare Gate City Ohsaki features a 24-story, twin-tower office building, a 157-unit apartment building, a multipurpose hall, a factory building, two parks, and an office for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s city cleaning operation.

The twin tower is connected by a five-story atrium, which has restaurants, shops and a supermarket.

“We wanted to make Gate City not only an office complex but a place where people come on weekends,” said a spokesman of Mitsui Fudosan Co., Gate City’s general developer and manager.

Indeed, many families and couples can be spotted at Gate City on the weekends, sometimes just lounging at the numerous tables and chairs in the spacious atrium.

A game center operated by Sega Enterprises Ltd., located at the foot of the entrance hall to Gate City, is also attracting visitors on weekends, the spokesman said.

“Thanks to New City and Gate City, the image of Osaki has greatly changed. . . . Osaki used to be one of the most ill-reputed stations on the Yamanote Line, but many people visit here now,” said an official at the Ohsaki New City management office.

Between 40,000 and 50,000 people go to the two complexes daily, including 18,000 who work there, he said.