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Popularity of “Edu” Apartments Rising

Posted August. 30, 2004 21:56,   


Owners of units at “Acrovista,” a residential and commercial apartment complex, have started to move in. The residents-only study room is frequently visited by their school-age children. It is equipped with state-of-art facilities of temperature adjustment, light, desks, and chairs. The library even has teachers supervising students studying there. It has been receiving positive responses saying that it is superior to other private study rooms for students.

Next to the library, there is a daycare center for residents. Professional babysitters take care of kids. It is equipped with playground slides, swings, and toys such as legos and darts. The fee per hour is 2,000 won.

So-called “edu apartments,” focused on childcare and education, have been recently attracting the people’s attention. These apartments provide improved environments for children’s education as well as help parents save money from expensive private education and childcare costs. Because of these benefits, they have been popular among parents with school-age kids. It is expected that living in these “edu apartments” will be even more convenient for parents with junior high or high school kids when a new college entrance exam system that emphasizes GPA is introduced.

Development of “Edu Apartments”—

More apartments are planning to invite private tutors to their facilities for their residents to substitute private institutes. Seyang Construction Industrial Co., LTD. currently in installment sale of “Mok-dong Seyang Cheong Maru” apartments in Shinjeong-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, plans to provide English classes by native speakers for its residents’ kindergarteners and elementary school children. The classes will be free for the first two years. After the introductory period, a representative group of the residents will take the responsibility to manage and pay for the classes.

“Sang-in Xi (merchant named Ja-i),” an apartment built in Wolsung-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu by LG Engineering and Construction Corp., recorded an 100 percent of sales under agreement, despite of recent economic recession. It will also provide a “residents-only English Village.” Native English speakers will teach the classes.

Many apartments are planning to provide study rooms, audiovisual lounge for educational TV programs, and other multipurpose seminar rooms. Ssangyong Engineering and Construction Co., LTD. offers a “PC Zone” in the “Sweet Dot Home” apartment complex at Sajik-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan, currently in sale. This apartment will also provide audiovisual room for educational programs and ‘PC zone’, internet room for doing homework through the Internet. And multipurpose seminar rooms can be used for study groups.

Apartments such as “Acrovista” in Seocho-dong, “Tower Palace” in Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu whose residents already finished moving in, and “i-Park” in Jeongja-dong, Bundang-gu, Sungnam, Gyeonggi Province, are particularly popular among two income families because they provide daycare centers with teaching staff.

It is counted as a special advantage to have educational facilities inside apartment complexes since it helps to cut off harmful environments that kids can be exposed to outside and the fees are less expensive.

Preparing for College Entrance Exams inside the Apartment Complex—

As the proposal of a new college entrance system to give GPA the first consideration is announced, these “edu” apartments are expected to become even more popular. Ha Tae-woong, representative of a real-estate education consulting company called “Budongsan.com,” said, “Since classes should have students from the same schools in order to prepare them for their school exams, these classes provided within the apartment complexes are much more efficient than apartment-external classes provided by private institutes. It is considered critical for successful college entrance to provide community facilities to help parents and their children maintain good relationships, and this will continue encouraging the development of edu apartments.”

Construction companies seem to recognize this as a “good material for marketing.” Some companies are preparing facilities to provide less expensive private classes in cooperation with famous educational institutes. Son Joong-tae, executive director of housing business at Ssangyong Engineering and Construction, said, “The current economic environment is not rosy, but this type of ‘infrastructure to support residents’ educational needs’ is seen as doing an important role in attracting customers.”

In-Jik Cho cij1999@donga.com