Gov’t tries to sell more Seoul lots

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Gov’t tries to sell more Seoul lots

The government will hold an investment seminar about the sale of government-owned real estate properties in Seoul and Gyeonggi, part of the government’s relocation of state-run companies to outside the greater Seoul area.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced Monday it will hold a seminar at the Korean Chamber of Commerce on Thursday to describe 27 state-owned properties going under the hammer. It will describe the locations, bidding schedule and minimum bids.

In total, the properties are estimated to be worth approximately 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion), the Land Ministry said in a report.

A string of government-run companies and organizations are being forced to move outside Seoul and Gyeonggi as part of the government’s effort to bring development to different parts of the country.

The Land Ministry is particularly interested in investors using the plots to build business hotels for foreign tourists or residential buildings for businessmen.

Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation, located on Yeouido, western Seoul, is a choice property, the Land Ministry said.

In November 2013, the corporation moved to Jeonju, North Jeolla, under the government’s ambition to make that southwestern city “an innovative city.”

Its former headquarters could be redeveloped into a so-called officetel, a multipurpose building for residences and offices, the Land Ministry said in a report.

The minimum bid requested by the corporation is about 43 billion won, the Land Ministry said.

The previous headquarters of the National Radio Research Agency in Yongsan, central Seoul is also a choice location, the Land Ministry report said. The minimum bid asked by the agency is about 82 billion won.

In July 2014, the agency moved to Naju, South Jeolla.

Considering its location, Land Ministry officials are proposing so-called “new stay” apartments on the site, apartments with government-controlled stable monthly rents for middle-class households.

The building previously used by the Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, which moved from Seoul’s Mapo district to Daegu, North Gyeongsang, could be used as a business hotel for Chinese tourists, the Land Ministry said. Business hotel rooms are in short supply there.

“Some organizations have not fixed their minimum bids yet,” said Park Geun-ho, a Land Ministry official, by phone. “Through their own appraisals, the organizations will soon submit minimum bids and an investor who proposes the highest amount for each property will win.”

Since 2009, the government has sold a total of 91 properties for a total of 16 trillion won. This year, the Land Ministry will hold three additional seminars and ease regulations on the use of government-owned properties to speed up the sales of remaining real estate.


BY KIM HEE-JIN [kim.heejin@joongang.co.kr]
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