The Seoul International Finance Center is already displaying its stately look as a landmark in the Korean capital ahead of its partial opening in October, when it will begin housing its first tenants. The SIFC is a signature project of the City’s bid to “develop Seoul as a financial hub in Northeast Asia” and thereby emerge as a financial Mecca in the region, exceeding the stature of Singapore and Hong Kong.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government and AIG, the implementer of the SIFC project, held an onsite briefing session on September 22, and disclosed its progress at three commercial towers, a five-star hotel, and an underground retail shopping mall, whose construction is well underway for its slated completion in 2012.
Back in 2002, the Seoul Metropolitan Government set up a blueprint to develop Seoul into a hub of economy and finance in Northeast Asia, and selected Yeouido as the ideal candidate district for a highly integrated cluster of domestic and foreign financial institutions, as it was already armed with a good business environment. Accordingly, the City Government has been creating the optimal environment by attracting world-class business, commercial, residential and cultural facilities.
The Seoul International Finance Center comprises three commercial towers, a 38-story five-star hotel, and an ultramodern shopping mall (dubbed the “IFC Mall”) on three underground levels, as well as a multiplex movie theater and a food court. Such facilities will enable financiers to enjoy shopping, culture and living as well as conduct their business all in one location.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is expanding the admission of financial institutions into the SIFC complex in close collaboration with AIG. Office 1 at the complex has achieved an advance rental ratio of 76.3 percent, as fifteen major firms – including world-renowned foreign financial organizations such as Deloitte, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, ING Investment Management, ING Real Estate Investment Management, Daiwa Securities, and China Merchants Securities – have already signed rental contracts.
According to the City Government, the SIFC project has already mobilized a cumulative one million people (cumulative total of daily work force deployed), making an important contributions to job creation in the city. Apart from the financial institutions that will move into SIFC, the project is expected to lead to the employment of more than 2,000 standing workers, who will be hired by the hotel and shopping mall and for the management of facilities.