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Hyundai Motor’s GBC construction to begin H1 2019

Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automotive group, is slated to begin construction of its new headquarters, dubbed the Global Business Center, in southern Seoul in the first half of next year, with the government moving to clear regulatory hurdles for the project that had hit a snag for years.

The development comes as part of government plans shared at the economy-related ministers’ meeting, led by President Moon Jae-in on Monday, on fostering economic growth in 2019 by encouraging companies to make investments.

“Hyundai Motor (GBC construction) has been delayed for about three years. Decisions will be made within this month and follow-up action will begin next year,” said Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki.

If construction takes place as expected, the 105-story high-rise will be completed in 2023, serving as the new headquarters for 15 Hyundai affiliates and roughly 10,000 employees. Hyundai’s 569-meter building would also become the tallest skyscraper in Korea -- taller than the 555-meter Lotte World Tower.

An artist’s impression of Hyundai Motor Group’s Global Business Center in southern Seoul (Hyundai Motor)
An artist’s impression of Hyundai Motor Group’s Global Business Center in southern Seoul (Hyundai Motor)

Taking a cautious stance toward the latest development, a Hyundai Motor spokesperson said, “We will observe the progress of the related process.”

The mega project was initially scheduled to start construction in December 2016, but it had been put off three times by the advisory board that oversees metropolitan area planning, citing concerns of national safety in air-to-air combat and the housing bubble, among others.

The delay had sparked concerns of financial pressure on the automaker, costing Hyundai an estimated 500 billion won ($441.8 million) annually.

Hyundai Motor Group purchased some 80,000 square meters of land from Korea Electric Power Corp. in 2014 for a higher-than-expected price of 10.5 trillion won. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (
Korea Herald Youtube