December 05, 2008 12:19
The government unveiled plans for a massive new convention center in Seoul's Jung district on Thursday. The Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and KORAIL announced plans for the 35-story convention center on 55,826 sq.m of land north of Seoul Station.
Construction will be completed by 2014. The center will have 61 conference halls including one main hall that can accommodate up to 7,500 people at a time, five exhibition halls on over 26,000 sq.m of land, fully-serviced residence for long-term tenants and shopping malls.
KORAIL will be in charge of the project, appoint the contractor and finish the design by next year. Construction starts in 2010. "We embarked on this project because of the expected ripple effect of the convention industry for the national economy," a Seoul city official said.
"We aim to make Seoul an international gateway city, the hub of the convention industry in Asia, and also considered balanced development of Seoul." Jung is one of the capital's less affluent areas.
Eight plazas will be built around the old Seoul Station, which has been designated national historical site No. 284, on 52,914 sq.m of land to be used as a recreation space and occasional outdoor performance venue. Seosomun Park and the existing Seoul Station Plaza, which are desolate and a gathering place for the homeless, will be part of the eight plazas.
An ecological park is to occupy the area between Lotte Mart and the Yeomcheon Bridge covering the railway, connecting the area with the Seosomun Park. An official at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, "We will preserve the history of Korean railways, while developing the area into a cultural space hosting experimental exhibitions and performances."
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