Thursday, November 4, 2010

Japanese Condos Add Perks for Working Mothers

By Masaya Tomizuka

RISMEDIA, November 4, 2010--(MCT)--A number of new condominiums are offering special facilities and services for working mothers to help them balance the demands of home and the office.

The large condo complex Gransymphonia — currently being developed in Toda, Japan, by five real estate firms — will have laundry machines capable of cleaning futons and a nursery center where staffers can take care of children until 9 p.m.

Residents will be informed of their children's return by e-mails sent automatically when the children enter the building, and the condo is also scheduled to host seminars to encourage husbands to help their wives with child-rearing.

"Many women visitors have told us they'll start working, or want to have children, if they live here," said a deputy chief of sales promotion at Yuraku Real Estate Co., one of the condo's developers.

She said the number of visitors to Gransymphonia's model units had been much higher than expected.

The condos will be equipped with movable laundry poles that can be set up inside the rooms, convenient for rainy days. There will also be a laundry desk where residents can drop off and collect their dry cleaning.

Crevia Keio Horinouchi Park Nade II, developed in Hachioji, near Tokyo, by Itochu Property Development Ltd., has a nursery center and a day care room for sick children. The latter will be particularly helpful for couples who both work, as nurseries typically do not watch children who are ill.

Some local governments — including Tokyo's Sumida and Setagaya wards and Osaka, Japan — certify condos in their jurisdictions that offer services and equipment conducive to child-rearing.

Sanctus Joto Fukaebashi, currently under development by ORIX Real Estate Corp., was certified by the Osaka city government for its steps to prevent children from getting their fingers caught in sliding doors.

In the private sector, Mikihouse Child & Family Research and Marketing Institute Inc. features on its website more than 200 houses and condos it considers good for child-rearing.

(c) 2010, The Yomiuri Shimbun.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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