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Samsung, LG’s ‘Happy New City’

Posted November. 30, 2005 07:19,   


At Cheonan Asan station, a 34-minute distance by KTX from Seoul station, a four-story railway station stands in an empty space. The empty space will be developed into a commercial affairs district as the center of Asan New City by 2008.

After driving 10 minutes to Tangjeong-myeon via the Asan campus of Sun Moon University, you will see Samsung Electronics’ Tanjeong industrial city which is being built now.

There is a city of LG to the north. A five-minute drive on the “LG Road” from the Wolnong station in Paju takes you to LG Philips’ Paju LCD cluster, whose construction is now 10 percent completed. Take another 10-minute drive on the national road, and you will reach the end of Unjeong district which is being developed into Paju New City.

The Center of the Country versus a Bridgehead of Inter-Korean Exchange-

Asan New City is expected to emerge as a key city of central region which is bigger than Bundang (5.94 million pyeong) in Gyeonggi Province by 2011 when the Tangjeong area is to be developed after the Baebang area around Cheonan Asan station.

Because it has a convenient transportation network, including Gyeongbu-Janghang Line, subway lines of the Seoul Metropolitan area, and Gyeongbu highways, and is just about 40km away from Yeongi County, which will host the administrative city, Asan New City will serve as a bridge connecting the Seoul Metropolitan area and administrative city. Also, the city is predicted to become a residential area for the 2.1-million-pyeong Tangjeong Industrial Complex that Samsung Electronics is building.

Paju New City is likely to serve as a stimulant to the underdeveloped northern Seoul Metropolitan area. Although it is near Seoul, Paju has been developed less because it is located at the border with North Korea.

However, it is planned that Paju will host a 2.85-million-pyeong new city with the Unjeong area being the center, and that nearby Wolnong-myeon will have the 1.1-million-pyeong LG Philips LCD complex. Many plants of Korean and foreign companies and a city of 120,000 residents will be built around the military demarcation line. With its closeness to the Kaesong Industrial Complex, Paju is expected to become a bridgehead of Inter-Korean interchanges by the private sector.

Chung Sang-jun, Paju LCD TF team leader of Gyeonggi Provincial government, said, “The industrial map of the Seoul Metropolitan area is expanded to include northern area,” predicting, “Attracting foreign companies to the LCD cluster around the military demarcation line will have the effect of enhancing security.”

Growing into a Self-supporting City-

As Samsung and LG, the number one and number two players in the global LCD market, built an industrial complex around them, the two new cities are equipped with the conditions to grow into a self-supporting city.

Just like Ulsan, Gumi in Gyeongbuk Province and Changwon in Gyeongnam Province, which saw their residents’ income jump considerably compared with other cities after hosting industrial complexes, the size of the economy of the two cities are predicted to greatly increase.

By fully operating the first and second complexes by 2015, Samsung’s Tangjeong complex is forecast to produce an annual $20 billion worth of products. And that amount is expected to reach $80 billion by including an industrial complex of its partner companies.

Paju residents are already full of expectations, as LG Philips LCD and its partner companies are planning to invest 25 trillion won in Paju LCD cluster over the next 10 years. The effect of job creations is expected to jump the city’s population to 500,000 in 2008, twice the size of the current population.

On the back of the expectations over development, real estate prices around those areas are also going up. The transaction price of apartments around Cheonan Asan station reached nine to 10 million won per pyeong, which is similar to that of the Gangbuk area in Seoul.

The premium on home ownership rose up to 100 million won in SSangryong-dong in Cheonan, and Dongil Highvill and Ssangyong Xi apartments in Buldang-dong. Land prices around the Paju LCD cluster also jumped by four to five times than before the cluster was built.