[THE INVESTOR] Construction of Hyundai Motor’s sky-high 596-meter Global Business Center in southern Seoul has run into a new problem with the Ministry of National Defense raising safety concerns.
Talks between the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Defense Ministry over whether to conduct flight safety and radio waves evaluations of the 105-story building took place earlier this week, the government said on Jan. 4.
Bird‘s-eye view of Hyundai Global Business Center. Hyundai Motor.
The latest discussion was arranged by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to address concerns raised by the Defense Ministry last month.
“The capital of Seoul is the core of national defense. Examination of the impact the 105-floor architecture will have on air combats and radar masking is needed,” according a meeting record posted on the Land Ministry website.
Last month the Land Ministry had hosted a meeting to screen the use of land formerly held by Korea Electric Power Corporation, which Hyundai bought to build the GBC.
Hyundai Motor bought a 560,611-square-meter plot of land for 10.5 trillion won ($9.9 billion) in 2014 to build Korea’s all-time high landmark in Samseong-dong by 2022.
Previously, it took 30 years for Lotte Group to build the 555-meter high Lotte World Tower due to national security and public safety concerns.
The site of the GBC, which neighbors the Lotte World Tower, is not categorized as an aircraft safety zone by law.
The latest safety concern raised by the Defense Ministry could push back construction of the GBC that was widely expected to start in the first half of this year.
Seoul said it has discussed with the Air Force for the land use and that it deemed an additional discussion with the Defense Ministry was not necessary, but that it would do so if needed.
“The South Korean Air Force will review aircraft safety and radar masking assessments. It will take about six weeks to settle discussions between the Ministry of Defense and Seoul City Government. If everything goes as scheduled, construction can begin in the first half of this year,” said Seoul City Government.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)