'ThemePolis' Shopping Mall in Pundang- Great Expectations

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'ThemePolis' Shopping Mall in Pundang- Great Expectations

Pundang, an area just outside the southern limits of Seoul, is seeing a growing wave of expectation and land speculation with the anticipated opening of 'ThemePolis', a huge shopping mall complex going up next to Yatap subway station.

Inside the soon-to-open shopping mall will be a plethora of facilities filling out the complex's four underground floors and seven stories above with a total floor space of 62,400 pyong(205,920 sq.m) to use.

The expected amount of people passing through is forseen at about 80,000 a day especially with the Songnam Bus Terminal nearing completion. Also, with discount stores and 8 movie theaters slated to open next month, a fashion center to follow in August, other shops to peddle electronic goods, and a sports complex, this number will likely swell.

Even though one would expect existing small stores in the area to be despondent with such looming competition, the nearby stores are actually looking forward to its completion. With higher customer traffic through the area, they know that the positive spill-off effect will be more sales for their own businesses. In fact small stores near Yatap station are all sold and the area has a 100 percent occupancy rate. Rents and prices are also following suit.

Metro Building and its underground commercial space of 300 pyong(990 sq. m) and very conveniently opposite the 'ThemePolis' was empty until recently. This month, however, has every possible store space contracted out with rents not including the standard deposit at about 1.5 million won($1,400) per pyong. Since 'ThemePolis' is to target the teenage and young adult consumer, many small stores are rushing to meet expected demand.

A ground-level 35-pyong(115.5 sq. m) restaurant right beside 'ThemePolis'is going for 80 million won($72,000) deposit and 2 million won($1,800) monthly rent. Last year, the owner feared he would have to sell the property at a loss. He has no fear of that now.

It is precisely due to the shopping mall that renting or, for that matter, just finding stores with ground-floor frontage is near impossible. Mun Hong-ju, head of Jongdo Real Estate forsees the area as "the heaviest area in customer traffic in Pundang. Rents and land prices in the area are still rising. They've been rising since early this year when the project started nearing completion."

by Hwang Song-gun

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