S. Korea’s tallest skyscraper to open early next month

SEOUL-- The skyscraper built by South Korean retail giant Lotte Group is due to open early next month, the group's operating unit said Tuesday.

The 123-story Lotte World Tower will officially open to the public from April 3, housing offices, luxury residence and a hotel, and an observation deck at the very top, Lotte World said in a press release.

The construction of the landmark was a mega real estate project long envisioned by Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho, who always aspired to have "something world-class" to further grow his sprawling retail and tourism businesses.

It almost took three decades for Lotte to finally realize Shin's dream, as his grand plan had faced strong opposition from past administrations and the public over safety concerns.

Six years after the ground breaking, the 555-meter high skyscraper is now the world's fifth-tallest building after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Shanghai Tower, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Saudi Arabia and One World Trade Center in New York, the company said.

The lower floors of the Lotte World Tower will consist mainly of offices, with some 30 stories above them accommodating a lavish residence named Signiel Residence, one of which has been bought by the current Lotte Chairman Shin Dong-bin.

Signiel Seoul, a luxury hotel will be located in the upper part of the landmark building, where the guests can stay in some 235 rooms. The Signiel Seoul will be the world's second-tallest hotel, with one of its top suite rooms costing about 20 million won (US$17,860) per night.

Between the 117th to 123rd floors is a glass-made observation deck designed to accommodate 900 people at once, who will be able to see the entire view of Seoul and, if they're lucky, as far as the East Sea, according to Lotte.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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