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The overall Yongsan IBD and Yeouido projects are on hold as their announcements caused housing price to increase in the area, so they backtracked until prices subside.
 

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I think this topic should be renamed "Yongsan International Business District", as the "IBD Tower" project is dead for now, and the final project which will replace it will likely be different, with a different name as well.

That being said, there are some (minor) news about the project.

Korail, which develops the project (and has recently won lawsuits regarding the cancellation of the initial project) will start purification / cleaning-out works from this July, and until January of 2022. Such work is necessary to allow the project to fully resume, and shows that Korail anticipates a resumption at some point.

There are reports of unofficial discussions between Korail and Seoul Metropolitan Government regarding the project, but no official announcement is planned for now, as the project is delayed as the city hopes to keep housing prices low.

https://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=101&oid=366&aid=0000434986
 

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The big plot of land in the middle of Seoul still remains undeveloped, but the legal imbroglio regarding the development project has been resolved, so a new development plan for the Yongsan International Business District will still be announced eventually.

The government and Korail are taking their time for political reasons, but the Yongsan International Business District will come back at one point or the other. Will it be of the scale of the initial project? Maybe not, but nobody knows.
 

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Announcement of plans to build 8,000 housing units in Yongsan

On the plot of this project which faltered back in 2012 or so, the city announced yesterday that it plans to build 8,000 housing units on the plot, with half of these buildings being public housing and the other half being regular apartments supplied at market price by private developers.

This is part of a greater announcement to build 15,000 new housing units in Seoul.

It will take a few years for this project to move forward, with the final authorization for this project not expected to be given before 2023. It's also a date which is after the next presidential and local elections, so this project can still change.

Also, since this will be a major project located in the heart of Seoul, we can reasonably expect a design which is significantly superior to the usual apartment constructions. It will probably be much different and less ambitious than the initial IBD project, but also maybe more reasonable. Of course, no announcements have been made about the heights of designs, and I would still expect the project to include commercial or office projects, so it's still quite possible that we will have a fairly tall tower there.



These new plans were also reported in the English-language press yesterday:


 

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Government considering increasing number of housing units supplied in Yongsan IBD from 8,000 to 20,000

Apparently, in the midst of the increase in market prices in and around Seoul, the central government is considering increasing the number of apartments it will build in the Yongsan IBD from 8,000 to 20,000. Nothing has been confirmed yet, as the rumors are that additional measures specifically related to housing supply in Seoul are to be announced by the end of July. Until this is announced, there will be a lot of speculation as to what measures will be favored by the government (using the green belt, building on land currently owned by the army, increasing the Floor Area Ratio near subway stations, relaxing the 35-floor rule, increasing the density of the 3rd generation new towns...). The communication has also been very eratic, with the Presidential Office, Seoul City Hall, the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) currently not in sync.

Regarding the Yongsan IBD, in order to do that, they would raise the FAR to 1500%. Overall, 20,000 units sounds like quite a lot for a land which is not all that big. That would certainly mean some tall buildings, but also mean that the share of office space would be reduced. It would certainly be a challenge to build something aesthetically pleasing, and not too cramped. We will see once an official announcement is made. In any case, construction would not begin before 2023 at the earliest.



 

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New Yongsan IBD Masterplan to be announced in May - to be followed by international design competition

Seoul City announced last Friday that it will announce its masterplan for the redevelopment of the former Yongsan Train Depot, known as the site of the Yongsan International Business District, with a plan to then conduct a 2-phased international architectural contest for the detailed plans.

We'll see, this project has been mostly dormant for almost 10 years, but things started to move again since around last year, with the government planning to use the site to supply more housing (of course not only housing). It will also be interesting to see if Oh Se-hoon's election as mayor will have some impact on the resumption of the project.

 
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