18) Joint Reconstruction of Markets−Restoration project of Shin-Konan market
Shin-Konan market was totally destroyed by the disaster. For its restoration, the first general meeting of business owners was held in March 1995. They studied the types and combination of restoration projects with the participation of an expert as coordinator. In July, temporary stores were opened and 10 shops began sales. The framework of reconstruction was largely decided by then.
The restoration project was based on building reconstruction through an equivalent value exchange system taking advantage of the subsidy for building improvement project (Ministry of Construction), and the promotion of joint management retail system by MITI fund. The Shin-Konan Cooperative was established to accept fund under the condition of changing the retail system from individual shop style to supermarket type. They rebuilt the complex building with shops in the first floor and 73 housing units on the 2nd to 8th floors. Stores and residences were offered first to the previous title holders. Extra housing units were bought by Kobe Housing Supply Corporation for public sale. These sales proceeds account for a large portion of reconstruction funds.
A unique aspect of this project was that they established a company (Shin-Konan Market Reconstruction Company Limited) to carry out the restoration project, and they also invited share holders widely from the public in addition to the member of the project. As a result, 46 persons, besides the previous title-holders, invested in shares, and those investors were given the priority to buy the housing units from the Housing Supply Corporation. The market is a local business, so they asked for the participation of local residents in the restoration project by investing to the project.
Shin-Konan Market reopened as "Shokusai-kan" in November 1997. Some of the members had given up their retail business after the earthquake. Also new type of shops had to be added to meet the needs of customers.
Shops were remodeled as self-service stores and previous shop owners were joint owners of the new market. In the past, it was a market with individual shops, but now it became a new market facility jointly run by the previous shop owners. A new way of management is now required.