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Hyundai Motor’s 110-story landmark project in jeopardy

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Published : 2013-05-03 21:01
Updated : 2013-05-03 21:01

Hyundai Motor Group’s ambitious plan to build a 110-story global business hub in eastern Seoul is in jeopardy as it has failed to gain support from the city government and residents.

The project, tentatively named the “Global Business Center,” was launched in 2007 with the aim of completion by 2015.

Hyundai created a task force for the project and completed due diligence on the 27,830-square-meter site in Seongsu-dong. But its talks with the city government have been stalled for years due to planning permission.

Because the site, formerly occupied by a Sampyo Remicon factory, is located in a residential area, the city government says public agreement is needed for the project to proceed.
An artist’s rendering of Hyundai Motor Group’s planned global business center in Seongsu-dong, eastern Seoul.

“In order to change the purpose of the site, we need to reach social consensus. But the project has failed to get approval from experts and residents there,” said a city official declining to be named.

“Hyundai also dissolved the task force, so we have no counterpart to continue discussions with. All the talks have been suspended now,” he said.

According to industry sources, the presidential trade and investment promotion council had considered easing regulations for stalled large-scale construction projects in Seoul, such as Hyundai’s landmark building and Korean Air’s seven-star hotel, as part of its measures to revitalize corporate investment.

The council, however, excluded those issues from the key agenda at the last minute before their meeting on Wednesday, citing resistance from the city government and a lack of social consensus.

“We had carried out the project in accordance with the law, but the new city government is imposing different regulations,” a Hyundai Motor spokesperson said. He denied related talks had been halted, however, saying the group still wants to continue the project and is closely monitoring the situation.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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