HAPiNAHA to close at end of June
Goichi Itokazu, the CEO of Ryubo Industries, the company that manages the building on Kokusai Street in Naha housing HAPiNAHA entertainment complex, announced Tuesday that HAPiNAHA will close at the end of June as originally planned.
The property originally housed Okinawa Mitsukoshi Department Store that closed in September 2014. Ryubo Industries then purchased the property with a plan to demolish the building to make space to an urban development project. However, Itokazu explained that the project was behind schedule, as the parties were “still in the process of negotiation.”
Yoshimoto Kogyo, a Japanese entertainment conglomerate, runs a permanent theater within HAPiNAHA. Yoshimoto explains that, “We had a contract with HAPiNAHA to close by the end of June from the start. We are still considering what to do after it closes, but we can’t announce anything at the moment.” One of the suggestions is they would continue running their permanent theater at a different location and perhaps in some other style after July.
Ryubo Group took over the building of Okinawa Mitsukoshi after the store closed in order to rebuild the site. The new building would aim to invigorate Kokusai Street, and Ryubo expected the project to take a few years to proceed. As a part of the project, the company first renovated the building into HAPiNAHA that opened in March 2015.
Itokazu says the project is still going on. “We have our concept for the site, and are still continuing discussion with the landowners,” he explained. About the possibility of continuing HAPiNAHA after July, he assured, “There is NO possibility of continuing. We would like to proceed with our original project to invigorate Kokusai Street as soon as possible.”