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Omoromachi area residents protest Naha land sale actions, decisions

Date Posted: 2008-02-01

A Naha City plan to sell its property in Omoromachi has stirred anger among residents who don’t want to see more high rise apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

Naha City decided against constructing a new city office building on its property in Omoromachi, and chose to sell it to a real estate developer. Residents don’t like the decisions to sell, and to permit commercial development in the largely residential area. Naha City opted out of building the new government building, citing budget constraints.

“The lands will be sold beginning in February,” the city told residents, “and we will make a contract with land owners that buildings will be lower than planned for land cost.” Residents don’t like the answer, and still want Naha City to build a city office building on the site. “We made calculations about land costs with the real estate vendor, and they say it’s a fair price,” the city says. “We think about urban development and different ways to use the land.”

Naha City has promised residents new buildings will be lower than nearby Shuri Castle, and committed to making the city’s Kokusai Street more active. “We thought this through very carefully,” it said, “to do what is best for citizens.” Residents still want the city to reconsider, but Naha City officials say they can’t. Instead, an official said “We will try to explain in more detail, and until they all understand.”

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