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Parking garage set for Asahibashi monorail station area

Date Posted: 2008-01-16

An area now used for bus parking near Asahibashi Monorail Station will become the home of a multipurpose building that includes parking for 650 cars.
Developers in Naha City have tagged the project the Okinawa Urban Monorail Asahibashi Station Area Development Work, a long name for a much needed project to provide parking at the popular downtown monorail station. The Naha City Izumizaki area’s Naha Bus Terminal is to see many of its stand-by bus spaces transformed into the new 13-story building that will include the parking garage.
Officials say much of the bus parking space is wasted, and will reduce the parking area to eight bus slots, and downsize the current 14-berth bus terminal to nine parking berths. Choichi Yakabe, who is heading the new project, says it will be accomplished in concert with Naha City. The new building and parking facility will be complete in 2012, at a cost of ¥14.8 billion.
Bus companies are irate about the new project, saying “it will make for very bad traffic jams.” Bus officials argue “without waiting space, how can we find spots for buses to wait or park.” The president of Naha Bus Terminal area, Atsunobu Sakata, says “we’ve gotten a lot of inquires from both outside and inside Okinawa about this coming multipurpose building. Because the building will be favorably located, there are lots of people interested in it.”
Okinawa Prefecture officials say the project must begin quickly, because “if the project will not finish construction by 2012, subsidy money from the central government will not come. We have to hurry up.” The construction section notes that the area has many hotels and businesses in the area, but no parking. Officials say opposition from the bus companies ran strong, but now that the bus terminal has been bought by a Tokyo company, the project has moved forward quickly.

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