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Mayor's Hope Journal

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  • Eunpyeong’s Worth is Geumpyeong (golden)
    [Mayor Park Won Soon’s Administrative Journal 45]

  • SMG 1556

    There is great news heard through the grapevine.
    Yesterday was the first day of sales on a first-come-first-served basis of Eunpyeong New Town apartments that were not originally sold, resulting in 107 apartments being sold or leased on a long-term contract.

    When I heard that the Eunpyeong New Town development had 618 apartments remaining unsold three years after completion of the project by SH Constructions of Seoul, I temporarily relocated my office to listen to and analyze the long-held wishes and civil complaints of the residents, and to find alternatives and solutions. The good news about the recent sales is, I believe, a result of such efforts. We believe that people have responded to our opinion that the name of the development might be Eunpyeong (silver), but it has the value of Geumpyeong (gold).

    If you take a look at an article written a few days ago by reporter Bae Gyeong-hwan of The Asia Economy Daily, you will see how the development is transforming from Eunpyeong (silver) to Geumpyeong (gold).

    Mayor Park Won-sun of the Metropolitan City of Seoul set out to find a solution to the problem of unsold apartments in the Eunpyeong New Town residential development from within City Hall, and presented an alternative solution called ‘Reform.’
    The solution involves remodeling the 618 unsold units into partial-lease or guesthouses for corporate use. Plans to use apartments as rental housing for tertiary students relocating to Seoul to attend college were also introduced. On the 7th, Mayor Park held a press conference at the temporary mayor’s office set up within Eunpyeong New Town, and presented measures to promote sales in the Eunpyeong district. During the presentation, Mayor Park identified unsold apartments, absence of commercial facilities, and inadequate transportation links as the three main reasons for the underperformance of Eunpyeong New Town. The reason for so many unsold apartments was also discussed using the same reasoning. Mayor Park said, “We can’t blame this situation solely on the economic recession,” and further stated, “Since the reasons for underperforming apartment sales differ from complex to complex, finding appropriate measures is most urgent at this point.”

    First, Mayor Park announced that mid-to-large sized unsold apartments, between 101㎡ and 166㎡, will be redesigned in a customized style. Based on the buyers’ requests, the interiors will be remodeled, and the representative styles will include housing appropriate for three-generation families with grandparents, parents, and children and partial-lease type contracts, which will allow buyers to lease the apartments. Moreover, specific options allowing flexibility were introduced – conversion of a bedroom to study space or a space for hobby or leisure activities, or conversion of rooms to Korean style. Alternative plans to turn some units into corporate guesthouses or rental accommodation for college students were also offered. The accommodation for college students are specifically geared towards those students from regional areas and the specifics will be decided through discussion with local governments.

    Sales promotion policies will also be put into effect. People will have the option to lease for up to four years before making a purchase and will receive up to 35,000,000 won to compensate them for wallpapering or painting. The advertisement, which originally focused on ‘benefits,’ will now feature, “An invitation to the last 618 people…the name is Eunpyeong, but the worth is Geumpyeong (golden).” Mayor Park also proposed a solution to the problem of a lack of convenient facilities for the residents.

    He has successfully encouraged the construction of “AlphaRose,” a ₩1.3 trillion-scale commercial facility in the Jingwan-dong 79 area, and as a beginning, a large market has been planned and will be established on commercial property in the vicinity. In addition to these improvements, more lanes will be designated as public transportation lanes to allow for better traffic flow, as private vehicle traffic increases. The Mayor also revealed that he is reviewing plans to increase the frequency of buses and the subway and to improve facilities for bicycles.