The Golden Harbor and the Port Hinterland:
Signaling Activated Investment
Incheon’s growth engine revolves around its airport and port. Above all, Incheon Port, with its historic role as the gateway to Northeast Asia, is in constant progress, evolving and establishing itself as an innovative base for future development. Opening this past April, the Incheon International Cruise Terminal boasts its status as the first cruise terminal in the Seoul metropolitan area and the country’s largest in scope. The New Incheon International Passenger Terminal, scheduled for opening in December, having completed construction in June, will serve as an essential facility for the Incheon Port Authority’s main project: the Golden Harbor Project. With this serving as its base, the IFEZ and Incheon Port Authority (IPA) met to solidify collaborative work toward Incheon’s growth and development as a global harbor city.
IFEZ-IPA Joint Investment Promotion Council Founded
It is encouraging news that the IFEZ and IPA have come together to collaborate in renewing investment attraction for the Golden Harbor and the port hinterland, signaling the activation of investment interest. On September 26, following a hearing on development plans for Incheon Port and the present status of the Golden Harbor, IFEZ Commissioner Lee Won Jae and IPA President Nam Bong-hyun signed an agreement on organizing and operating the ‘Joint Investment Promotion Council.’
With the Golden Harbor’s infrastructure completed, the council was launched under the aim of reinforcing information sharing, collaboration, and solidarity between the two organizations, further promoting synergic effects generated from this reinforcement. The activities of the council will include attracting investment in the Golden Harbor and the port hinterland, implementing activities and events jointly to attract financial involvement, sharing information and collaborating for promoting interest, and cooperating for efficient development and additional investment attraction.
Under co-leadership by the Head of the IFEZ Investment Opportunity Headquarters and Vice President of the IPA’s Management HQ, the council is staffed by over 20 members, including the Director of the Strategic Investment Planning Division and Director of the Service Industry Division from the IFEZ and the Port New-Deal Project Team Manager and Investment Attraction PM from the IPA.
Lee Won Jae, the IFEZ Commissioner, stated, “Establishing the Golden Harbor as a tourism hub and ensuring successful settlement of the International Passenger Terminal and Cruise Terminal are very important to the IFEZ as well as the IPA.” He also promised, “I will do my best for the IFEZ and IPA to work together through the Joint Investment Promotion Council in order to drive development and growth for Incheon.”
Completion of a Global Harbor City: the Golden Harbor Project
The official project name of the Golden Harbor Project is the ‘Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal Site Development Project.’ On the expanse of the area, which runs from 300-5 to 300-10 in Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon Metropolitan City, along the coastal area in the west to Ah-am Distribution Complex 2, the Golden Harbor will be built on 428,823 ㎡ of the total business land for sale around the New Incheon International Passenger Terminal and Incheon International Cruise Terminal. The total project costs amount to KRW 670.5 billion: KRW 140 billion covered by government expenditure and KRW 530.5 billion in investments by the IPA.
The background for the Golden Harbor Project is summarized by three broad rationales: resolution of issues relating to user confusion and inconvenience regarding the current dual-operation system used for the International Passenger Terminal; proactive response to changes in the international environment towards the super-sized car ferry industry and new route development; and vitalization of the tourism industry by establishing the Incheon International Cruise Terminal. The IPA’s plans are to develop the waterfront in utilizing the aspects of the ocean view and in providing domestic and foreign tourists with water-friendly spaces.
From this provision, it also aims to build international-standard marine culture tourism complexes. At the same time, it will serve to resolve issues of user inconvenience by integrating the International Passenger Terminal and concentrating marine infrastructure on the newly developed New Incheon International Passenger Terminal in order to maximize operational efficacy. At the center of the Golden Harbor Project lies the New Incheon International Passenger Terminal. This terminal, recently completed in June, is 36 m high and encompasses a total area of 66,790 ㎡ — roughly 1.8 times the size of the first and second International Passenger Terminals. Walking paths are planned in line with views of the sea from the second floor up to the rooftop, ensuring a pleasant environment for both terminal users and workers, and guaranteeing the structure’s standing as a new landmark for Incheon Port. The IPA prospects that, upon the opening of the New Incheon International Passenger Terminal in December, it will have the capacity to process over two million passengers and over 500,000 containers a year.
Birth of a New Tourist Attraction Offering
High-class Marine Services
The Golden Harbor Project is executed through steps 1 and 2: the total area involved in step 1 of the project is 212,744 ㎡, while the development is conceptualized as a resort mall centered around shopping activities. In step 1, construction will focus around a huge entertainment-and-culture integrated resort complex, business hotels, ‘officetels’ (multi-purpose residential and commercial buildings), a shopping mall, outlets, World Marine Center, and condominiums-for-sale.
The total area set aside for step 2 is 216,079 ㎡, while the development concept is that of a vacationing resort for enjoyment of the surrounding sea and the relaxing environment provided. In step 2, development of a marina along with a luxury private resort is planned, where resort hotels, water parks, and condominiums-for-sale will be built. With step 1, and the building of a dynamic space serving a mixture of shopping and entertainment, and step 2, as a static restive space offering leisure and relaxation, there is great expectation for the area to become a new tourist attraction offering high-class marine services to Korean and international visitors, including the citizens of Incheon.