By Kim Rahn
A budget hotel will be built in the Namdaemun Market area in central Seoul for a scheduled opening in 2016.
Seoul City said Wednesday that its construction committee approved the plan to build a hotel and an office building there in an effort to relieve the shortage of downtown hotels.
The 3,739-square-meter site is on the side of Toegyero street, just near Exits 6 and 7 of Hoehyeon Station on subway line No. 4.
According to the city, two buildings will be built — an office building of 345 offices and a hotel with 438 guestrooms. Each will be between 25 and 29 stories above the ground and eight stories below, with some restaurants, cafes and other commercial facilities on the lower floors of the buildings.
"The land owner first planned to establish only commercial and office space, but later decided to have the hotel in line with the city's effort to expand low- and medium-priced lodgings at the heart of the city," a city official said.
The Jung-gu Office governing the district will give the final permission around early next year, and the land owner will invite and select constructors and operators of the hotel to start the construction work in April. The buildings are scheduled to open in April 2016.
Overlooking Namdaemum Market, the hotel will be situated near Shinsegae Department Store and Myeong-dong shopping district is within a 1-kilometer radius. The subway station's Exit 7 will be directly linked to the building.
"As more traffic is expected there with visitors to the places, we'll make a parking lot for buses there," the official said.