The city government of Seoul said Wednesday that it will allow a panel of citizens to inspect the safety of retail giant Lotte Group’s new skyscraper before giving the final nod to the group’s plan to open the lower part of the building.
Lotte had originally sought to open to the public the completed lower floors of the second Lotte World complex, including the 123-story high-rise, which is still under construction, by April.
But the city government previously nixed the plan, citing safety concerns as well as traffic congestion.
|2nd Lotte World. (Yonhap)|
Lotte Group recently submitted another request for permission from the city government along with measures to allay such traffic and safety worries.
Responding to the request, Seoul said it has decided the skyscraper is now fit to open to the public but it will first bring in a group of citizens, experts and journalists to the building to conduct a safety inspection before giving final approval. The city said the inspection plan is aimed at allaying safety concerns over the skyscraper among some citizens.
Lotte Group has expressed its willingness to undergo the inspection as early as this weekend.
“We will order Lotte Group to amend any problems that may be found in the inspection period and the city will make a final decision after reviewing the result,” a city government official noted.
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.
If completed as planned in 2016, it will be the tallest building in South Korea.
Seoul City also said that during the inspection period, it also plans to conduct emergency evacuation drills inside the high-rise as well as monitoring of traffic conditions around the building. (Yonhap)