MCA’s Japanese park to cost more than $ 1 bil

MCA Inc. expects its newly announced Japanese movie theme park to cost more than $ 1 billion, said Frank Stanek, president of MCA Enterprises Intl.

MCA, the entertainment subsidiary of Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co. Ltd., said Wednesday it and a consortium including the city of Osaka and a number of Japanese companies will develop Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

“The investment total is in excess of $ 1 billion,” Stanek told Reuters, noting that is only the cost of the park.

Group investment

All members of the consortium, including the city of Osaka, are making financial investments in the park, Stanek said. But the estimated $ 1 billion cost of the park does not include the cost of related infrastructure improvements, which are “equal to the cost of the park,” Stanek said.

The cost of the infrastructure improvements will be borne by the city of Osaka, which will also receive some funding from the national government and the prefecture, Stanek said.

Stanek said he could not detail the equity stakes held by the various consortium members. MCA is continuing to seek out additional investors to join the consortium, he said.

In addition to the city of Osaka and Matsushita, consortium members include Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd., Sumitomo Corp., Nisshin Steel Co Ltd., Hitachi Zosen Corp. and Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co. Ltd., all of whom are landowners in the project.

The theme park, which will have a decidedly westernized feel, is to be built on a 140-acre site in Osaka. After looking at sites in Japan for a number of years, MCA in recent years focused its search on the Osaka and Tokyo metropolitan areas, Stanek said.

‘Right mix’

“You have to find the right mix of transportation access, supportive government and companies that can help you assemble the amount of land that you need at a price we could afford,” Stanek said of how MCA finally settled on the Osaka site.

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