Lotte department store in Busan shut down over historic project dispute

BUSAN, May 31 (Yonhap) — A branch of the Lotte department store in the southern port city of Busan is set to close as the local government on Tuesday decided not to extend its license due to the company’s reluctance to build a related commercial and residential landmark. building.

The city government gave temporary approval to the department store’s Gwangbok branch in 2009 as part of Lotte Shopping Co.’s plan to build a 107-storey Lotte tower in the city center.

The Busan Metropolitan Government said it had decided not to extend the license, which expired on Tuesday, saying the company continued to delay the construction of Lotte Tower and had not shown a firm will to move the project forward. project.

The company announced the 107-story, 428-meter-tall commercial and residential building in 2000.

But the plan made little headway, and Lotte changed its design in 2019, reducing it to a 56-storey, 300-meter structure.

As a result, the Gwangbok branch, along with its aquarium and entertainment facilities, will be closed on Wednesday. Over 3,000 people work in the department store with over 800 shops.

Lotte was criticized for taking advantage of the department store while dithering on the project.