The Jeju Free International City Development Center, or JDC for short, is the driving force behind most of the major development projects going on around Jeju Island. The projects are designed to foster Jeju’s goal of becoming a “Free International City,” and to make Jeju a “new paradigm of urban/commercial development in Northeast Asia,” according to JDC information.
The “free” in “Free International City” refers to the free movement of people, goods and capital. That means a loosening of regulations regarding the flow of these vital ingredients, in hopes that money will flow into Jeju, from tourism and investment.
As part of this industrious undertaking, the JDC is developing what it calls six core projects. They run the gamut from a high-tech complex to an amusement park. Here is a look at each one.
High-Tech Science and Technology Complex The high-tech park rambles over 1.1 million square meters on the hillside above Jeju-si, just east of Cheju National University. The “eco-friendly” facility will serve as a “composite space for research, business incubation, training and user residence.”
Types of businesses eligible will include IT- and BT-related high-tech manufacturing and research facilities, natural science research and development and IT industry.
Major facilities will include an international school, production and business support facilities and neighborhood amenities.
Begun in 2003, it is slated for completion in 2011, at a cost of 427.4 billion won (approx. $344 million USD).
Resort-type Residential Complex Jungmun will have another luxury destination when this project is completed in 2015. The complex is located in Yerae-dong, Seogwipo, on the coast west of the ICC Jeju. It will cover 743,700 meters, and include three “prestige” hotels, a residence hotel and a casino hotel, as well as single and villa-type condominiums.
There will also be medical facilities, a cultural center, and in indoor arena. Price tag for the complex is 1.8 trillion won (approx. $1.45 billion USD).
Myths and History Theme Park This “world-class mega theme park” will be situated in the southeast portion of Jeju, near O’Sulloc Tea Museum, and will combine entertainment and education.
The 4.04 million square meter site will include a movie theme park with “state-of-the-art technology and multimedia, a waterpark, a “top-class tourist attraction” and a catch-of-the-day restaurant.
The “H-Zone” will feature food and culture from numerous countries, while the “J-Zone” will feature a theme park combining myths and historical elements.
It is expected to be completed in 2014, at a cost of 1.49 trillion won (approx. $1.2 billion USD)
Healthcare Town Health is the theme of this town, to be built near Seogwipo-si. It will include rehabilitation and alternative medical centers, water parks, general hospitals, special hospitals, long-term care facilities and a medical research complex.
Planned facilities include an anti-aging research center, a bio-research center and a “wonder drug” research center. Healthcare Town spreads over 1.48 million square meters, and is expected to be completed in 2011 at a cost of 315 billion won ($253.5 million USD).
English Education City The highly-touted English-immersion city will also be located in the southwest part of Jeju, in Daejong-eup. It will be a complete city, with schools for grades 1-12, foreign educational institutions and an arts and culture complex. The model school, with classes in grades 3-9 is expected to open in 2011.
Total cost of the project is 1.45 trillion won ($1.16 billion USD).
Seogwipo Tourist Port The waterfront face of Seogwipo will be altered dramatically when this project is completed in 2013. It features a bridge to Saeseom Island, walking paths on the island, and a waterfront redevelopment to include a cultural relic park, a cultural property pavilion, a shopping street and a fisheries cooperative building.
Cost is estimated at 143 billion won ($115 million USD).
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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