Lotte Shopping to build Incheon retail complex

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Lotte Shopping to build Incheon retail complex

Lotte Shopping, the retail arm of Lotte Group, said yesterday that it has signed an agreement with Incheon Metropolitan City to invest in a wholesale market in Guwol-dong and turn the area into a multicomplex retail center. The agreement comes after the country’s leading retailer last year acquired the Incheon Bus Terminal, which is near the agriculture wholesale market.

“By utilizing both land areas [wholesale market and bus terminal], we plan to create a complex cultural space like Japan’s Roppongi Hills,” said an official from Lotte Shopping. “Roppongi Hills is considered as one of the best examples of a city redevelopment project that consists of shopping, business and residential facilities. The area is Japan’s landmark that lures more than 30 million visitors every year.”

The investment agreement yesterday between Lotte Shopping and Incheon comes more than two months after the retailer was chosen as the preferred bidder to buy the wholesale market in Guwol-dong in Namdong District, Incheon. The agreement includes the retailer providing the city 30.6 billion won ($28.6 million) worth of a contractor deposit for a land area that covers 58,663 square meters (631,000 square feet) and a building that covers 44,101 square meters. The total purchase price is 306 billion won, according to Lotte Shopping.

“We plan to set up a separate corporate body and sign the actual purchasing agreement in late June,” the official said.

Along with the retailer’s plan to redevelop the market area, Lotte Shopping earlier last year purchased the 78,000-square-meter bus terminal plot and a building for 900 billion won from Incheon City. When adding the area that covers the nearby wholesale market, Lotte Shopping has secured 136,000 square meters of land in which it is able to “create a landmark in Incheon.”

“The area size is larger than Roppongi Hills’ 110,000 square meters,” Lotte official said.

The project to create a landmark in Incheon, meanwhile, will begin with a groundbreaking ceremony that will take place in the latter half of this year. Retail facilities, including shopping and cultural centers and residential facilities, will be built on a stage-by-stage basis by 2020. First, Lotte Shopping said it will build a 28-story multicomplex shopping mall by 2017 on the current bus terminal site.

There will also be a street mall built on the current wholesale market area by 2019 and by 2020, with the construction of 10 apartment buildings that can house about 2,000 families.

BY LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]



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