Entertainment, cultural facility to open in Yokohama

TOKYO — Sega Corp. plans to spend ¥100 billion ($854 million) building an entertainment and cultural complex in Yokohama, the company announced on Monday.

It will open the first part of the complex in 2009, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Yokohama’s opening as an international port.

Located in Minato Mirai 21 — a futuristic commercial, shopping, dining and entertainment development fronting Yokohama harbor, the new complex will feature a concert hall, cinema complex, hotel, restaurants and game facilities. Idea is to create a local version of Broadway and Las Vegas, minus the casino gambling.

Sega plans to enlist other investors in the project, including Sega group company Sega Sammy Holdings, as well as get backing from the Yokohama city government, which is eager to develop the area as an entertainment and cultural hub. The company first announced the project in fall 2004 and closed a deal with the city government for the site, but it is now negotiating for an additional parcel that will bring the total to 430,000 square feet.

Best known abroad as a maker of game software, Sega operates in Japan an extensive network of cinemas, amusement centers and pachinko/pachislot centers through its group companies.

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