Lotte World II to provisionally open

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Lotte World II to provisionally open

The Seoul Metropolitan Government agreed to provisionally open the Lotte World Mall complex, which consists of the 123-story Lotte World Tower and three auxiliary buildings, for about 10 days sans commercial operation in an attempt to reassure a concerned public.

The Lotte Corporation, which is in charge of the building of the complex in Songpa District, southeastern Seoul, attempted to open the three low-rise buildings in April. However, the request was turned down by the city government, which cited safety and traffic problems.

Construction on the three smaller buildings has already been completed, and the tower is expected to be finished at the end of next year.

“We have determined that Lotte’s revised plan for safety and traffic is enough for an early opening,” said Jin Hee-seon, the head of the housing policy division with the city government. “But we thought the public should first have the opportunity to check out the complex, since [its construction] has caused a lot of social anxiety.”

The Lotte Corporation is currently preparing field trips for interested parties, possibly starting as early as this weekend. It added that nearly 40,000 people had visited the site over the last 40 months of construction.

The city government said it will determine whether to approve the complex’s official early opening within the month after evaluating the success of the provisional opening.

The city government added that it had tentatively concluded that the reduction in water level in the Seokchon Lake next to the complex was unrelated to the construction. However, it will continue employing research teams until May 2015 for closer investigation.

BY KIM BONG-MOON [bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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