Shown above is an artist’s concept of the newly developed eastern Seoul area proposed by the Korea International Trade Association. Photo courtesy of KITA

Two outfits compete to win a mega project

Korean builder Hanwha Engineering and Construction has joined hands with U.S. architectural company Populous to build a mega-sized baseball stadium in Seoul.

Hanwha said on Dec. 10 that the company had come up with a proposal to the Seoul government to develop 58,000 square meters of land in eastern Seoul.

The new complex will include a stadium, a convention center, sports facilities, a hotel, a high-rise office building, and cultural facilities.

Among them, Hanwha said that Populous would design the stadium on the back of its rich experience. The U.S. outfit designed such facilities as Yankee Stadium.

“Populus has worked on more than 20 stadiums in the United States. A newly designed stadium in Seoul will be a place for show and exhibition for both actual and virtual performances,” a Hanwha official said.

“We will come up with a carbon-neutral complex, which will brace for autonomous shuttles and urban air mobility facilities.”

Hanwha is one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, chasing such big players as Samsung, Hyundai, SK, and LG groups.

Competing with the Hanwha consortium is the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which has joined forces with Hyundai Engineering and Construction.

The KITA contends that its track record of having built and run the country’s first exhibition center COEX in southern Seoul would help its consortium.

“Hyundai Global Business Center is under construction by Hyundai E&C in southern Seoul. We can develop the eastern Seoul so that it can be connected to Hyundai Global Business Center,” a KITA spokesman said. “We can create an annual economic effect of more than $1 billion.”

The Seoul city plans to pick the preferred bidder later this month. The final winner will have to spend more than $1.7 billion for the build-transfer-operate project by 2029.

Then, it will be allowed to recoup its investments by operating all the facilities over the next four decades.