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Igis to create fancy office complex in central Seoul

By Im Eun-byel

Published : March 18, 2024 - 16:11

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A rendering image of the redevelopment plan of the Millennium Hilton Seoul area. (Igis Asset Management) A rendering image of the redevelopment plan of the Millennium Hilton Seoul area. (Igis Asset Management)

Local real estate asset manager Igis Asset Management is set to move forward with its plan to refurbish the office area near the Seoul Station, having recently acquired two office properties on the site.

The asset manager announced Monday it had acquired Metro Tower (41,139.6-square-meters) and Seoullo Tower (27,897.5-square-meters) in the area, which connects with another property owned by the company, the Millennium Hilton Seoul.

Through the project, the area, situated near the iconic Namsan, will be redeveloped into a 460,000-square-meter mixed-use complex, comprising a landmark hotel, office and retail spaces. It will also feature a separate 7,000-square-meter green area to be open to the public.

The firm acquired the Millennium Hilton Seoul through its entity YD816 Project Financing Vehicle in 2021 from CDL Hotel Korea, a Korean branch of Singaporean investment company City Developments Limited, while the property was facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deal was reported to be at around 1.1 trillion won ($825 million). The five-star hotel eventually closed its operation in December 2022 for redevelopment.

While the firm’s redevelopment plan for the Millennium Hilton Seoul was approved by Seoul authorities in November, the firm expects its five-year plan to redevelop the Seoul Station area to be carried out measuredly, wrapping up by 2029.

“A large-scale redevelopment that connects green areas with mixed-use complexes is a global trend of city reshaping, such as New York’s Hudson Yard and Tokyo’s Azabudai Hills,” an official from Igis Asset Management said.

“The project is about giving new life to the Seoul Station area, which remains relatively underdeveloped compared to other city areas.”

Meanwhile, the asset manager said it is working to preserve the iconic hotel lobby of the Millennium Hilton Seoul in the redevelopment process. The hotel, built in 1983, was designed by the nation's leading contemporary architect, Kimm Jong-soung. It featured a main lobby at the entrance that is valued as a feat in Korea's architectural history.

The firm said it plans to keep the lobby while reconstructing the establishment. The lobby will be repurposed as the entrance for a shopping mall.