▲ The Yerae Resort project will add gleaming glass and steel towers to the southwest Jeju skyline. Photo courtesy JDC
Get ready Jeju. The landscape of the south shore of the island is about to be dramatically changed by a new skyline. The Yarae Resort Development led by Berjaya Land Berhad, a subsidiary corporation of Berjaya Group of Malaysia will delight Korean advocates of development and investment, and raise many concerns to those wanting to preserve the nature and beauty of Jeju.
For people who love resort style tourism, the Yerae development might sound like paradise. Grand ocean views, five-star hotel service, casino, shopping and medical tourism facilities. All this, plus Jeju's nearby tourism activities and scenery adds up to an idyllic experience. It will be located on the south shore of Jeju, about 45 minutes from Jeju International Airport.
Project will include Jeju’s tallest building The Jeju government gave its blessing to the development, managed by a joint venture arrangement between Berjaya, and the Jeju International Free City Development Center (JDC). Berjaya Jeju Resort Corporation had to successfully meet development criteria necessary before construction could begin, and lengthy processes were endured by both the developer and the government to agree on land use and zoning regulations. This development could redefine several land use regulations such as the height of structures built in Jeju in the future.
The project should, at the very least, result in an impressive complex. The first building phase involves land preparation this September, and then work will commence on condominiums, then a five star hotel. A total of approximately 782 condominium units will be built and the firstt phase luxury hotel will become Jeju's tallest, at 38 floors. The project also met the minimum $500 million USD development criteria to build a casino. Overall, the total land area covers over 700,000 square meters, and is located near the existing Jungmun tourist complex, which also offers an impressive array of hotels and tourist activities.
This condominium style of vacation and property development targets those consumers who may wish to regularly frequent Jeju and therefore purchase their dream vacation residence. This includes 'serviced' residences, where all maintenance, cleaning and other amenities are provided. The remaining developments including shopping and integrated facilities for medical tourism will be built over the project's estimated eight-year duration.
First foreign developer on island The Yerae development is clearly in line with the Jeju Government's development ambitions to attract 10 million tourists per year. It is also significant that a foreign developer and resort operator will enter the tourism market in Jeju, thus directly competing with Korean operators. In theory, competition is good for consumers and should stimulate improved goods and services in this area, and provide positive spillover effects for local Jeju service providers.
Berjaya brings with it experience in the hotel development, gaming (casino) and resort style tourism that Jeju may need to stimulate its maturing, traditional vacation market. This could encourage longer vacation stays and thus money spent in the Jeju economy, although Berjaya hopes to capitalize on this first with its own facilities. More information about Berjaya Group and the JDC can be found at www.berjaya.com and www.jdcenter.com.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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