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3.2.2 Redevelopment process
The first motivation for this development came from the mutual concerns of the JNR
and the neighborhood around the west gate area. The JNR owned 154,000 square feet of
vacant land in the west gate area, as shown in Figure 3.5, and intended to make the most of it to
compensate for its huge rail operation loss. On the other hand, the west side neighborhood was
worried about the inferior commercial activity of that side when compared with the east side.
The first plan for redevelopment was created in 1972, after a large site occupied by a
national college was vacated. However, this plan did not involve the local neighborhood
directly. The second plan was created by the Committee for Redevelopment of West Gate Area
of Ikebukuro Station (the Committee) in 1982. The Committee was made up of representatives
from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), Toshima Ward, the JNR, the Tobu, the
TRTA, the TDS, the Chamber of Commerce of West Ikebukuro, and a group of neighborhood
residents and academic advisers. Although the Committee's primary goal was to coordinate the
larger area of 120,000 square meters (1.3 million square feet), it focused on the redevelopment
of the JNR's vacant land, since the redevelopment of the other blocks was already under
progress. After careful consideration, the Committee made its proposals, the Committee's Plan,
in 1985. According to their plan, shown in Figure 3.6, the vacant land was to be developed as a
commercial, cultural, and public space and was to include several small adjacent lots and a
narrow street which ran between the land and Ikebukuro Station. This plan, it was felt, would
maximize the block's potential and strengthen its connection with the station.