Star power: Getting a rise out of Seoul's 3d highest building

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Star power: Getting a rise out of Seoul's 3d highest building

High above the avenues of Gangnam, south of the Han river, the sight of a gigantic star logo atop a 45-story building has caused more than one passer-by to wonder: What is that?

It's Star Tower. Initially developed by the Hyundai Group to house its headquarters in Yeoksam-dong, the building was purchased - at the steep price of 680 billion won (about $520 million) - by Lone Star, one of world's major investment companies, in 1997.

Last Saturday, the promotion company Arlinda threw a pre-launch party for Star Tower, which is due to open in February. The building, to be the third highest in the capital, will be home for offices, a restaurant and perhaps a hotel.

At the pre-launch bash, the Korean-American violinist Eugene Park jazzed up the the night.

Part of the 70,000 won admission went to charity.

James Kohlhoff, the president of Star Property, a subsidiary that manages the building, came to Korea in September. He told the JoongAng Ilbo English Edition that he is excited about the Star Tower's future. "We'll be a landmark in the city of Seoul, like the Transamerica building is in San Francisco."

by Inēs Cho

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