Eunpyeong New Town On-site Inspection Office
Date: November 1, 2012
Venue: On-site Inspection Office, Eunpyeong New Town
Mayor Park: I have come here not as a mayor, but as a resident. How long have you been living here?
An Elderly Man: I have been living here for five years.
Mayor Park: Is there anything here that you consider inconvenient?
An Elderly Man: Yes, Jingwan Neighborhood Park has no pavilion for visitors to take a rest, even though the park is visited by almost every resident of this community. Even preschoolers and elementary school students often visit the park for field trips.
Park Won Soon: I will be here until the 9th, so I will definitely visit the park while walking around this community.
Mayor Park: Eunpyeong-gu is considered difficult to manage for several reasons. I am trying to allocate more financial support to districts suffering financially, and I think Eunpyeong New Town is especially suffering, as it is dealing with difficulties arising from the traffic system and unsold apartments. Therefore, I will try to embrace as many opinions as possible and find solutions while walking around this area, visiting restaurants, and talking face-to-face with residents here.
President of Women’s Association: The first apartment complex (700 households) and the second (300 households) are home to young couples and families. However, as a business district has not yet been created, the residents face many difficulties. Also, there is no public bath, and the traffic system is terrible.
Mayor Park: I will look into that by commuting from here.
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: We have sold many 40-pyeong apartments, but we have not sold many 50- or 60-pyeong units yet.
Mayor Park: So, the unit size does matter.
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: We built 2,500 40-pyeong apartments, and only three are left. For 50-pyeong apartments, 188 of 1,657 still remain, and for 60-pyeong apartments, 427 of 848 are still unsold, which means that a total of about 50 percent remain unsold. The 60-pyeong apartment is a particular pain in the neck. When we started selling the apartments, the real estate market was in a slump. In the beginning, we sold 20 apartments a month.
Mayor Park: And you haven’t sold any since then?
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: We lowered the price to increase sales, and we will continue to do so gradually.
Mayor Park: Other construction companies are dealing with the same issue.
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: We have about 4,500 households in downtown Seoul. Usually, most new apartments are still unsold by the time construction begins, but when construction nears completion, most of them are sold. In the four apartment buildings in front of us, 75 households are all still empty. I will lead the way. Please follow me.
Mayor Park: What advantages do SH Corporation’s apartments have over others? Please tell me so that I can announce it publicly later.
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: Eunpyeong New Town is a region that is known to be eco-friendly. However, the demand for larger unit sizes is well below the supply. We are offering discounts, but the region as a whole needs to be supported. The people living here are filled with pride, so we really want to satisfy their needs.
Mayor Park: The surroundings, landscape, and air quality could be important as well.
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: It was completed two years ago, so the buildings are already beginning to deteriorate. We are planning to do some renovations soon.
Mayor Park: If the issues related to the lack of amenities and inconvenient road system were resolved, it would speed up the selling process significantly. However, it is just a matter of time. Residents want to buy, but they just cannot afford it now.
Marketing Head of SH Corporation: People move in here expecting better infrastructure, but as this district does not yet have that, they are becoming frustrated. The community itself has many positive aspects. There is no trash on the street here thanks to the well-sealed trash collection facilities. So you won’t see any stray cats digging through garbage for food. The apartments here are in fair condition, but the lack of facilities is an issue.
Mayor Park: The larger units could be used as offices, but I don’t think any individual household would choose them for a home. The mayor’s office has two floors, which may be relatively more popular than the larger apartments here. They are certainly large enough for couples or small families. Nonetheless, it is urgent that we find ways to meet the residents’ demand.