I spent 110.9 billion, but the traffic volume was 5%… ‘Park Won-soon’s public road’ with tax blown

The public pedestrian walkway around Sewoon Shopping Center in Seoul, which was built at a cost of more than 100 billion won, was embroiled in a controversy over demolition after a year of opening. It is said that it has little effect on revitalizing the commercial district due to low traffic volume and even harms the urban landscape. For this reason, it is pointed out that “Isn’t it just a waste of national tax money?”

110.9 billion won public pedestrian walkwayAccording to the Seoul Metropolitan Government on the 12th, this pedestrian road connects seven buildings, 1km north-south, from Jongmyo to Sewoon Shopping Center, Cheonggye, Daerim Shopping Center, Sampoong Shopping Center, and PJ Hotel to Inhyeon and Jinyang Shopping Center. The pedestrian walkway was promoted for the purpose of an urban regeneration project to preserve the area around Sewoon Shopping Center in March 2016, during the time of the late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, and was fully opened in July of last year. A steel structure was added to both sides of the existing commercial mall concrete deck, and a steel frame bridge was connected between the buildings. The project cost of 110.9 billion won is entirely from the Seoul city budget.

The urban regeneration project in Seoul began in 2014, when Park Won-soon was the mayor of Seoul. Areas in urgent need of maintenance, such as new towns, redevelopment cancellation areas, and deteriorated low-rise residential areas, were designated as urban regeneration activation areas where ‘preservation’ is the key.

There is no way to find… rental space is empty

On the afternoon of the 7th, JoongAng Ilbo reporters visited the aerial walkway around Sewoon Shopping Center in Jongno-gu. There were few people here, so it was a dull atmosphere. On one side of the pedestrian path, 19 out of 36 rental spaces created for youth entrepreneurship were empty. Even the facility that was still in operation only flew flies. There was no ‘Sewoon Tech Book Lounge (book cafe)’. Inhyeon Culture Maru, which has a sign that reads ‘Jung-gu Garden Support Center’, is also bleak throughout the 3rd and 4th floors. Some of the space on the sidewalk was being used as a warehouse for building materials or boxes.

Lee Byung-kwon, manager of Taeyoung Electronics, who has been working at Sewoon Electronics Shopping Mall for 25 years, said, “I know that they made public pedestrian walkways to save commercial rights, but there was no effect on increasing customers and sales at the shopping mall.”

The reason why the situation has become like this is interpreted as a factor in predicting the demand for pedestrian paths without fully considering the surrounding conditions and development prospects. An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government said, “It seems that we failed to make a rational decision while trying to preserve the underdeveloped Sewoon Shopping Center without developing it.”

Traffic volume, 5-17% of forecastAccording to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, after the opening of the pedestrian walkway around the Sewoon Shopping Mall토토사이트, the traffic volume was much lower than expected at the time of promotion in 2017. As a result of counting the traffic volume from October of last year to March of this year, the Inhyeon-Jinyang section is 5% of the forecast, and the Sampoong Shopping Mall and PJ Hotel section , which are not linked to nearby shopping malls, are 6% . Sewoon, Cheonggye, and Daerim shopping districts, which are close to Cheonggyecheon and cafes and restaurants, account for only 11-17%. An employee of a franchise cafe said, “I’ve been working here for five years, but the number of customers hasn’t increased just because the public pedestrian walkways have been built.”

It is said that there is also a structural problem with the public walk. When viewed from the ground, the PJ Hotel section is lined with piers to connect the aerial walkway. Restrooms and public rental facilities are installed on the left aisle, so the sidewalk is so narrow that it is difficult for people to come and go. There are cars on the other side of the aisle, so it is dangerous to walk. For this reason, there are concerns that if the PJ Hotel is demolished or the area is promoted as a park, the public pedestrian walkway will become a ‘giant iron frame monstrosity in the city’.

The decline of Sewoon Shopping Center, which was once said to ‘make missiles’The Sewoon Shopping Center area was once the center of electronics, printing and lighting companies. There were so many different types of business that there were rumors that ‘you can make missiles’. However, it became a slum due to the development of the Yongsan Electronics Market. The number of businesses, which were 8790 as of 2009, decreased to 3373 in 2020.

After the opening of the pedestrian walkway, the atmosphere of decline did not improve at all. In April of last year, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the “Strategy for Recreating the Green Ecological City” to increase the urban green area ratio more than fourfold by reorganizing the area around Jongmyo and Toegye-ro (440,000 square meters). The entire area of ​​the Sewoon Shopping Center was included, but the aerial pedestrian path is a huge 1km-long obstacle.

Mr. Lee, who came from Busan, said, “I came up thinking there was something there, but there was nothing, so I went down again.”

Merchants “need to demolish the sidewalk”… City “service in progress”Among merchants, there is a claim that the aerial walkway should be removed. Lee Won-pil, CEO of Seungri Flower, who works at Jinyang Shopping Center, said, “I wish there were no customers, so it would be better to demolish the building and create a park like New York’s Central Park.” An official from the Seoul Metropolitan Government said, “We are conducting a service to verify the effectiveness of the public pedestrian walkway.”

Regarding this, Hyun-seok Lee, a professor of real estate at Konkuk University, said, “It seems that the cause of the Sewoon Shopping Center’s public pedestrian walkway was an excessive investment that did not fit the trend of the times.” said

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