Visit by Chung builds some suspense

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Visit by Chung builds some suspense

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo made a surprise visit Friday to the headquarters of Hyundai E&C in Jongno, downtown Seoul, which was interpreted as him personally overseeing the ambitious development project for the Korea Electric Power Corp. land purchased in September for 10.5 trillion won ($10 billion).

According to industry sources, Chung arrived at the construction affiliate’s office about 9 a.m. in a second-generation Genesis and met with construction company CEO Jung Soo-hyun for a briefing on the project process.

Hyundai E&C currently runs a task force dedicated to the development project in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.

Although the chairman has his own office at the construction company’s headquarters, he rarely visits. Hyundai Motor tried to downplay the Friday visit.

Nonethless, Chung has not tried to hide his intense interest in the development project, a life-long ambition. Hyundai Motor has long been studying Volkswagen’s Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany.

Chung even addressed creating Hyundai Motor’s own landmark in the heart of Gangnam during his New Year’s speech. Speaking at the automotive conglomerate’s headquarters in Yangje, southern Seoul, on Jan. 2, the chairman for the first time mentioned his vision of erecting a 105-story office tower.

The nation’s leading automotive group far exceeded other bidders, including Samsung Group, to buy the 79,432-square-meter (19.6-acre) site. The offer was more than three times the property’s assessed value of 3 trillion won. Hyundai Motor is paying Kepco in three installments due by Sept. 25.

The construction affiliate’s team has started its survey and held a presentation for overseas design companies in December.

About 10 companies attended the presentation, including KPF, which was in charge of design for Lotte’s new tower and mall, and SOM, which designed the Tower Palace high-rise in Gangnam.

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