The city government of Guri, the residential town on the eastern outskirts of Seoul, has signed investment deals with large domestic corporations for its 11-trillion-won Guri World Design Center project, after a series of agreements with foreign investors.
The city government held a signing ceremony on July 9 at the Guri Art Hall with nine companies including GS Engineering & Construction, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, POSCO A&C, Hoban Construction, Seohee Construction, Shindongah Engineering & Construction, Keonyoung, Bookook Securities, and Korea Asset Investment Trust in attendance. This is the first time for Guri City to sign memorandums with domestic firms in relation to the GWDC project.
The project will build a large-scale design center and permanent display space, as well as hotels, shopping malls, and foreigners-only residential towns. The city government will enlist 2,000 foreign firms in architecture and interior design for its design center. Although it was launched in 2008, the project had been dormant for seven years for reasons of environmental concerns and feasibility until March this year when Guri City won conditional approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation.
The project, however, needs to clear the hurdle of approval from the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs. For the 11-trillion-won cost for the project, the city will put up 2 trillion won for site renovation while the remaining 9 trillion won to be paid for by investing companies from overseas and within Korea.
Earlier in October last year, the city signed a memorandum with Bainbridge Capital worth US$2 billion won. In total, it has been promised a total of $5.4 billion in investment. Still it is not clear whether all of these commitments will be materialized into actual investment.