Former train depot in central Seoul to be turned into int’l business district

SEOUL, July 26 (Yonhap) — The Seoul city government on Tuesday unveiled a new vision for an abandoned train maintenance depot site in the central district of Yongsan, vowing to turn the area into a futuristic urban space comprising international business, residential and cultural complexes by the 2030s.

According to the Yongsan International Business District blueprint announced by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, the site of the unused train maintenance depot owned by the Korea Railroad Corp. and the land ministry will be transformed into a multifunctional city with both work and residential functions.

The 493,000-square-meter Yongsan train depot site, dubbed the last remaining large section of undeveloped land in Seoul, lies between the former USFK compound set to turn into a massive urban park and the Han River. It is also close to the Yongsan Presidential Office compound.

Oh envisioned the international business district as Asia’s Silicon Valley, where a number of global high-tech companies, R&D centers and international organizations would gather.

The district will also accommodate about 6,000 residential units, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) facilities, business hotels and e-sports venues, the mayor noted.

The city government also plans to ease its floor space restrictions for the area, possibly paving the ground for the construction of the nation’s tallest building, higher than the 123-story Lotte World Tower in southern Seoul.

The new business district will also aim to secure a green area ratio of over 50 percent by connecting itself with the Han River and Yongsan Park areas.

The predecessor of the Yongsan international business district project was first announced in 2006 but floundered thereafter mainly due to the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Two years ago, the then Moon Jae-in government announced a plan to raise the residential portion of the Yongsan train depot district by increasing the number of new housing units there to 10,000.

The Seoul city government said the public sector will first spend about 5 trillion won (US$3.82 billion) to finish site preparation and infrastructure construction works before the private sector completes each section one by one.

The site preparation and infrastructure construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, and the entire project may take 10 to 15 years to finish, the city government said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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