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Koreans plan ‘Asian Broadway’ in Seoul

SK Networks, which proposed using the Cerestar building for a new duty-free shop, plans to develop the Dongdaemun area into an Asian Broadway.

The retail arm of SK Group, the third largest family-run conglomerate in Korea, already proposed investing 450 billion to 550 billion won (US$460 to 496 million) in its bid for operation rights to a new duty-free shop, and as part of the bid, 200 to 300 billion won would be invested to construct infrastructure for fashion, tourism and culture in the region.

SK plans to invest 100 to 200 billion won in infrastructure for a cultural town in collaboration with the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Dongdaemun development project, which aims to promote the fashion, culture and tourism sectors. In addition, it will offer 10 billion won to create the largest Media Façade at Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

SK will pour an additional 60 billion won into a small business partnership fund to support Seoul’s “Manufacture Seoul” project and the Seoul Design Foundation’s apprenticeship training for fashion and needlework. It will offer a total of 30 billion won to revitalise traditional markets in Dongdaemun.

SK Networks, which operates the Walkerhill duty-free shop in northeastern Seoul, will offer traditional market coupons to its duty-free shop customers to help small merchants in the markets.

Once it gains its duty-free shop operation license at Dongdaemun, it expects that the area will welcome an additional 3.3 million tourists per year and create 33,000 new jobs, resulting in 3.4 trillion won worth of economic benefits by 2020.

An official at SK Networks said: “We will form a mutual growth system through long term investment for the revitalization of the Dongdaemun area. We will lead the development of the region as an ‘Asian Broadway’ culture town by mixing fashion, culture and shopping together.”

Original reported by Lina Jang.

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