As heavy construction continues in rebuilding regions of northeastern Japan that were damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake, a serious shortage of accommodations for workers in the area has emerged.
To help solve the problem, Orix Corp. recently said it is constructing 10 new business hotels that will be open by next spring in nine coastal municipalities in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures that were ravaged by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. Orix plans to hire about 250 employees at the hotels.
Two of the construction sites are in Sendai's Miyagino Ward. The others are in Ishinomaki, Kesennuma, Minami-Sanriku and Yamamoto, all in Miyagi Prefecture, and Iwate Prefecture's Miyako, Kamaishi, Ofunato and Rikuzentakata. Six of the 10 sites were flooded by the deadly tsunami that was spawned by the quake.
Orix said the hotel in Kamaishi will be the first to be opened, in October. The others will start operations successively through next spring.
The establishments will have a total of about 1,300 rooms, and the total investment is about 5 billion yen ($64 million).
Orix is leasing the land on the sites and constructing the buildings. It will commission outside companies to operate the hotels, which will offer room rates between 5,000-7,000 yen per night, two meals included. Orix is also considering building more hotels at several locations in Fukushima Prefecture.
For quick and inexpensive construction, Orix is using a process in which prefabricated units, each accounting for one room, are stacked on top of one another like blocks. This shortens the construction period to two and a half to three months.
The process also allows the buildings to be dismantled into the unit parts and reused, facilitating shutdowns and relocation of the hotels once the rebuilding-related business demand has topped out. Orix is also contemplating converting the hotels into nursing care facilities for the elderly.
Apart from Orix, Kachikaihatsu Co., a Tokyo-based hotel operator, is also planning to build hotels at 10 sites, including in Hirono, Fukushima Prefecture, to provide a total of 3,000 rooms.
A foundation affiliated with Mitsubishi Corp. will provide funds to help relocate and reopen Capital Hotel 1000, an establishment in Rikuzentakata that was flooded by the tsunami.
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