The city government of Seoul plans to decide by the end of this month whether to permit the use of completed lower floors of a skyscraper retail giant Lotte Group is building in the southern part of the capital, an official said Monday.
Citing safety and traffic concerns, the metropolitan city rejected the retail group's previous request in July for permission to open the lower floors of the 123-story high-rise being built in the district of Jamsil.
It will be the tallest building in South Korea when completed in late 2016.
The official said the city government is planning to review Lotte Group's recently renewed request for permission with an aim to come up with a final decision by the end of August.
In the previous inspection, Seoul recommended the group draw up thorough plans to allay traffic congestion and safety concerns.
Another city official noted that "Whatever the result, the group won't be able to open the completed lower floors before the Chuseok holiday, given the time needed to prepare for the opening."
Lotte hopes to open part of the skycraper before Chuseok, Korea's fall harvest holiday, which falls on Sept. 8 this year and leads to increased consumer spending.
After years of controversy, Lotte Group got the nod in 2010 to build the 555-meter-high building just across from its decades-old shopping and amusement complex.
The construction has raised concerns over traffic congestion and safety risks to planes landing at and taking off from Seoul Air Base, south of the skyscraper. (Yonhap)