A 4,854-sq. meter plot in front of of JR Tokyo Station’s Yaesu exit was auctioned Mar. 6 by JNR Settlement Corp. to a Japanese unit of a Hong Kong-based investment group for 86.8 billion yen.

The site has been used as the headquarters of the National Railway Workers’ Union (Kokuro), which used to be the biggest and most influential labor union of the now defunct Japanese National Railways, but now is the property of Nihon Pacific Century Group K.K. The price works out to 17.8 million yen per sq. meter, which is extremely high for Tokyo real estate, according to JNR Settlement.

It is higher than the sq. meter price of a plot in Shiodome, a long-unused piece of prime real estate near JR Shimbashi Station, which sold last month for 7.08 million yen per sq. meter. Five Japanese firms participated in the bidding, prior to which real estate analysts reportedly estimated the 4,854-sq. meter plot would go for about half the price actually paid by the Hong Kong firm.

“The price reflects our confidence on the Japanese economy,” said Andrew Reilly, a representative of the Nippon Pacific Century Group. “It’s a very unique piece of land…good land receives a good price.” He said the firm plans to erect an office building on the site and then lease out the space.

The Hong Kong firm has been investing in various sectors — real estate, infrastructure, high technology and financial industry — and the group’s Japanese unit has participated in auctions for other plots of land held by JNR Settlement, including the Shiodome plot and another in Shinagawa.

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