Sign In


Development Type: Mixed-use Development

Type Of Developer: Public Private Partnership

Start Year: 2004

Address: 17 Wangsimnigwangjang-ro, Seoul City, Republic of Korea, 04750


Contributor: audex


Location Description
1. Overview Wangsimni, along with Cheongnyangni, was planned as one of the 7 metropolitan centers of Seoul under '2030 Seoul Urban Basic Planning', and currently serves as the sub-center of the 171 k㎡ northeast living area of 3.16 million population in seoul. Wangsimni private capital station is situated in the center of Wangsimni, designated as a 'District Unit Planning Area' in 1999 to integrate commercial and cultural functions. 2. Urban Context and Zoning Most of used areas (85.5%) in Wangsimni are general residential zone, with multi-family houses (90%) distributed. Recently, antiquated areas of Wangsimni were redeveloped into new town since 2011 by 'Seoul New Town Redevelopment Project'. In the front, it is adjacent to civic center such as Seongdong-gu office, and in the back commercial facilities adjacent to Hanyang University are situated. In addition, Majang-dong livestock market has been located in the North. In other words, neighborhood is residential areas as metropolitan center, but business areas are scarce. Thus, accessibility is an important issue, while Wangsimni also serves as a background residential area for 3 centers of Seoul, in which business facilities are integrated. 3. Transportation The station is a transfer station for four subway lines including Line 2, Line 5, Gyeongui Central Line, Suin-Bundang Line, and a stop for the ITX-Cheongchun Line, increasing accessibility to CBD and GBD. In addition, most of buses operate routes that pass center of Gangbuk and Gangnam. 4. Landmarks and Places of Interest 4-1) Landmark The station acts as a landmark itself. As a transfer station with 90,000 floating population per day, it functions as a commercial and cultural complex. Hanyang University has established campuses based on its symbol of engineering-oriented university, with surrounding commercial district. 4-2) POI Selecting criteria is an urban planning, which will be implemented related to the station. The idle railway is planned as private rental housing at station district, and will accommodate households of single person. Wangsimni Square and Sowol Art Hall will be connected for cultural functions considering the proposals of communities for comprehensive cultural facilities. Finally, gopchang street between Majang-dong and Gosanja-ro, located in the north, will be established into specialized streets for tourists. 5. Rivers The station is adjacent to Cheonggye stream to the northeast, to Jungnang stream and Han river to the south. bordered main axis to Jungnang stream. Though having high pedestrian accessibility to green land and landscape elements, due to distance of 1 km, view of the landscape and river-related planning are difficult.

Case Report


Wangsimni private capital station was planned as a public-private joint project to redevelop the existing antiquated station efficiently. The new station was constructed in 2008 with a total floor area of 98950㎡, and situated in 17 Wangsimnigwangjang-ro, Seoul. the station was an only transfer station in which four subway lines intersect, and based on a large-scale of floating population, it oriented a commercial facility program. As a result, Wangsimni, which was sub-center of Seoul but lacked commercial and cultural facilities, was given benefits. Utilizing the station, the Seoul City government plans to develop the station district and reorganize the underdeveloped Wangsimni areas. Through this, Wangsimni will be developed as a center of northeastern Seoul and eastern Gyeonggi Province in terms of metropolitan center. However, at this stage, many problems are pointed out covered by befits of the station. The time when these problems are solved and further development is carried out, Wangsimni is expected to emerge as a new center of Seoul in conjunction with the station

Development Info.

Development Scale: Block

Total Development Cost: 213,551,000,000 won, 2010

Total Land Area: 109,090.91㎡, 2010

Total Development Area: 42782㎡, 2010

Area Type: Urban Area - Urban Residential Area

Start Date: 2004/04/26

Opening Date: 2008/09/05

Planning Approval: Wangimni private capital station new construction(왕십리 민자역사 신축공사), 1996. 08. 01

Lead Developer: Bitplex Co., Ltd. / President Jo Jun-Lae

Consultants: "Not available, because of confidentiality of 'Construction Planning' by developer (interview). However I listed a series of participants, but not all in the manner of categories by literature survey 1. Public Sector Mayor of Seoul City with Seoul City government, Seongdong-go office, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, KORAIL 2. Private Sector Bitplex Co., Ltd., 3. Engineering Corporation Sam-Hwan Co., Ltd. with subcontractors 4. Architect EON SLD 5. Consultants N/A 6. Citizens Citizens participating public hearings 7. Investors BitComputer Co., Ltd., KORAIL, 2 Special affiliated people, others"


Economic Context

1. In the View of KORAIL The station was planned to be a transfer station of Suin -Bundang Line in 2012, and North-Eastern Seoul Line in 2024. As a result, providing operation, modernizing stationary facility, and expanding convenience facilities is needed for increasing users. KORAIL attracted private capital for the issue, improving management by occupancy fees for site licensed to developer for 30 years, and dividends of investment shares. 2. In the View of Seoul City Government and Seongdong-gu Surrounding of the station was an underdeveloped area in which small-scale commercial facilities and antiquated multi-family housing were distributed. Thus, providing convenience facilities for residents, and inducing demands of passengers by station district. However, efficient land use due to lacks of available land in Wansimni, and a compact station district through transportation-oriented development leaded to land leasing. Thus, based on the station, revitalizing established urban areas of Wangsimni in a manner of expanding direct and indirect station district was planned. 3. In the View of Developer The station planned commercial facilities, transportation transfer facility, roads, and squares three-dimensionally on the upper parts of the railway, reducing land purchasing costs. In addition, tax burden, such as acquisition tax and registration tax, is lower than that of registered ownership. However, due to financial dependence on the private sector, developer expanded commercial facilities of lease for financial resources without public characteristic. In fact, the stationary facility is about 10%, and lease area, including commercial facilities, exceeds 50%.

Social Context

Social Context behind the new construction of the station is strongly correlated to the economic context in terms of Seoul City, reorganizing urban spatial planning of Wangsimni by Seoul Urban Basic Planning. Several policies, such as recovering project of Cheonggae stream, eco-centric park of Dduk island was related, leading to Renaissance of Han river project, managing waterfront areas, which facilitated regeneration of Wansimni.

Environmental Context

1. Natural Environment First, ecological area ratio can be evaluated as total green land. The station should secure a ratio at least 20% in category as distribution and transportation facilities, leading to additional 3,336㎡ of green land in its open space. Secondly, green network is defined as arrangement of green lands in forms of axis and groups, leading to three groups of green lands. Finally, not applied to management plan of Han river, the station was out of guidelines on regression of building line, layout, shape, and exterior. 2. Living Environment First, the station considered 'traffic environment evaluation' that facilitates traffic congestion on the Wangsimni five-way intersection. Thus, the station was situated 150 m away from the main roads, and access road, being accessible from three spots, was secured to minimize the surrounding traffic. Secondly, a large-scale open space was situated at the front adjacent to the civic center, accommodating rest areas to return public characteristic under the 'District Unit Planning'. Finally, The station planned large-scale entrances and pedestrian circulation inside the building to physically connect the two areas of Wansimni once divided by railways.

Historical Context

The station didn't emphasize its historical context and sense of place, and inherit symbolic image of Wangsimni. Rather, Baroque style, out of the context, was partially applied in design. In particular, the consideration of consistencies with Seoul urban planning was neglected, because the adequacy of the surrounding urban planning and harmony with the surrounding environment accounted for only 9% of the evaluation factors.

The Plan

Pre-planning Efforts

In 1995, 'Architecture Planning' by Chung-Gu Co., Ltd. with B-3 floors and 9 stories floors. The program focused on commercial and accommodation facilities, 50255㎡ of 89660㎡ as a department store, signing 'Agreement on Intent of Leasing' with anchor tenants, such as Macy's and Marriott Hotel. In 2002, 'Architecture Planning' by Bitplex Co., Ltd. with B-3 floors and 10 stories floors. The programs added incubating centers, 10,600㎡ of 87970㎡ due to DotCom bubble and activating start-ups. In 2005, 95220㎡ was planned due to the 2nd 'Architectural Design Change', and in 2007, 98950㎡ due to the 3rd 'Architectural Design Change'.

Vision Statement


Goals and Objectives

N/A. However, interviewee mentioned that earning profits from the leasing business is one of the most crucial goals for the case (interview).

Issues and Problems

1. Detrimental Effects Caused by Excluding Public Engagement excessively secured tenant-oriented commercial facilities by abnormal expansion of stationary facility, which should be over 10% of total floor area, lack of public characteristics due to not active inventions and supporting of government, lack of integrated master plan for stationary district, but only short term infrastructure 2. Various Incidents Caused by Interest of Participants controversy over preferential treatment of developer Sammi Group in 1992, controversy over Sammi Group selling its stake to disqualified Chung-Gu and approval by KORAIL in 1995, Chung-Gu going into court receivership after the IMF crisis in 1999, controversy over unilaterally raising the contract and distribution prices after Agreement signed in 2004 3. A Lack of Residential Facility passive in introducing urgent residential facilities due to lack of business feasibility

Benchmark Projects

VenusFort(Odaiba) is the officially stated example as benchmark in a way of programs and architecture planning. COEX (Seoul), Pacific Place (Hong-Kong), Central City(Seoul), Yeongdeung-po Station(Seoul) partially influenced the strategy of construction(Platform Type), program(Complex Building), transfer connection(Urban Block Association Type) and the stage of complex type(Bunch Type Complex).

Public Engagement Strategy

Because of the KORAIL's exclusion of public engagement in  selecting developer, and the lack of related legislations. public characteristic of the station is low. Thus, local governments were only involved in approving 'Urban Planning Decision', 'Traffic Impact Assessment', 'Architecture Planning', and 'Urban Planning Project Implementation', with no financial and tax supports. Though there being public participating hearings, but proposals of communities and users were not properly considered. Rather, in June 2009, the developer demanded revenues from the use of open space, which is mandatory to open to the public by the ordinances of Seongdong-gu.

Financing Strategy

1. Private-Oriented Development The basic development planning is the long-term operation through land leasing. The private sectors and KORAIL invested in a 3:1 ratio to establish a public-private investment company. With an approval to occupy and use it for 30 years, developer operates commercial facilities except for stationary service facility. Accordingly, KORAIL gained most of the financial resources from the private sectors, and acquires occupation fees and dividends. 2. Acquisition of Rent and Deposit in Advance Developer raised funds in three main ways. First, 146.5 of 213.5 billion won was raised through a acquisition of rent and deposit in advance from the tenants, which accounted for the largest part. Secondly, a loan of 35 billion won was received from the bank and being re-payed in installments for 128 months by operating commercial facilities. Finally, 10.1 billion won was invested by the developer, which is the smallest portion compared to total development cost.

Existing Community and Residents

Not by demolition, but by leasing idle land used as a railway and parking lot from KORAIL, there was no conflict with the redevelopment project associations of existing occupants, in the manner of dealing compensations and construction delay. however, several proposals were received from communities at the public participating hearings. For instance, in October 2017, Seongdong-gu office imposed an additional traffic inducement charge on each facilities based on the results, though most communities not pointing out problems, as they gain reflection benefits due to the station.

Phasing Strategy

Wangsimni private capital station simultaneously completed the construction of each facilities, not adopting a phasing strategy. Though developed not under the comprehensive master plan, Shinyoung, other developer, initiated construction of 299 units rental housing on the railway idle sites, which shows phasing strategy concentrated on the station district of Wangsimni for synergy in the level of Seoul City Government.

The Master Plan

1. Urban Spatial Planning The station was planned as a node of Wangsimni 'District Unit Planning' through the station district development, escaping from the previous perception that Wangsimni five-way intersection had been node. As a result, the station was situated adjacent to the civic center in the north, physically connecting the front and commercial district of Hanyang University through penetrating axis, once divided by railway. 2. Land Use Planning Land uses are urban center zone, general residential zone. Commercial facilities were arranged on the first floor of the front(west) in response to railway obstructing the east-west direction and a small floating population in the back. The station has secured an open space at the front, including an large-scale open space and green lands across the access road. 3. Layout Planning The building is a single complex, not distributed by functions. It devastates urban landscape and consistency due to lack of external openness. The interior space is divided into two main areas by the east-west penetrating axis, with north area having large space for anchor tenants. In addition, vertical circulations and node of the building are arranged along the penetrating axis. 4. Circulation Planning Mobility can access the 1 parking entrance from the front, Wangsimnigwangjang-ro, and back, 19 Maso-ro respectively, connected by elevated road installed on north of the building. In addition, access road for service mobility is adjacent to parking place. 230 m in the front, and 150 m in the back of pedestrian roads, partially cut off due to railway, are connected to 1 main entrance, and commercial facility arcade. Thus, it is important to approach through transportation and Wangsimni Square. 5. Architecture Planning The transfer passage of four subway lines at B-2 floor is adjacent to underground plaza, connected directly to the building. The first floor had an arcade of commercial facilities for floating population in pedestrian roads. The second floor, connected by an escalator at the open space, is the intersection of the discount mart and the two subway lines. Main circulation, recognized clear in the large-size building, are arranged along the penetrating axis, with separated circulations being planned for anchor tenants only. Elevation diversifies terraces and finishes for reducing monotony of the mass and layout, with Baroque style arcades and interior design united.

Land Uses and Programs

stationary service facility 13,477㎡ (13.8%), commercial facility (ENTENR6, Emart, etc) 26,602㎡ (27.2%), business facility (KB bank, developer office, etc) 10583㎡ (10.8%), cultural facility (CGV, dome golf, etc) 16038㎡ (16.4%), parking place 31103㎡ (31.8%), open space 9146㎡

Timeline or Milestones

1984. 01. The Act on the Utilization of National Rail Properties : the initial legislation on constructing private station of national railway 1992. 04. Establishment of Wangsimni Station Co., Ltd. by Sammi Group 1995. 02. Developer Change : Sammi Group to Chung-Gu Co., Ltd. 1995. 09. Passing the Traffic Impact Assessment Review : 1256 parking units 1995. 12. Special Act on the Operation of National Railways : special act on private station of national railway 1996. 08. Acquisition of Construction Approval : total area 86610㎡ 1997. 11. Construction Initiation Notification 1997. 12. IMF Bailout Request of South Korea 1999. 12. New Developer Selection : KORAIL, BitComputer consortium 2000. 02. Conclusion of an Agreement on Private Capital Station Projects : KORAIL, Wangsimni Station Co., Ltd. 2000. 04. Business Name Change : Wangsimni History Co., Ltd. to Bitplex Co., Ltd. 2000. 04. Business Purpose Change : venture incubating, internet business, E-commerce 2002. 01. Contract for a Discount Store : Shinsegae Co., Ltd. Emart 2003. 03. Contract of Multi-Cinema : CGV Co., Ltd. 2004. 04. Construction Initiation of Private Capital Station 2008. 09. Private Capital Station Operation

Current Status


Lessons Learned

What is the most important take away from this case?

Lesson #1-1 : Urban Planning of Seoul City I realized again that Seoul City has implemented the multi-nuclear structures of urban spaces, and convenience of transportation connecting each nucleus. I also learned that In order to reorganize underdeveloped areas, arrangement of commercial and business facilities adjacent to the station district is necessitated with floating population outside. Especially, Wangsimni private capital station, a transfer station of four subway lines, provides the benefits of multiple functions of facilities within a single building, having  potentials to reorganize station district, and residential areas in Wangsimni as a nucleus. Lesson #1-2 : Necessities of Comprehensive Master Plan However, I got an impression that development in accordance with phasing strategies is crucial, based on master plan of local government. other than the location linked to the civic center. Unfortunately, due to lack of comprehensive master plan, it is difficult to identify reorganizations of urban spatial structures after 13 years since completion, except for Wangsimni new town. Especially, in the circumstance of station district not being developed, I felt that floating population outside is bounded to commercial facilities and transfer zone in the station, not to Wangsimni. Thus, development of a station district, connecting Wangsimni organically with the station, and a comprehensive master plan is crucial for not limiting the social impacts on a only single station.

Why is this case relevant today and for whom?

1. Correlations of the Station and Seoul City Because of 'Capital Metropolitan Area Maintenance Plan' and leading distribution of population, multi-nuclear city structure is in a need of being established at the level of whole metropolitan areas, not just Seoul City. Subways played major roles in establishing nucleus, with station district implemented adjacent to transfer station for commercial and business functions. Wangsimni was designated as a subcenter by means of '2020 Seoul City Basic Master Plan', and as a metropolitan center in 2030, connecting the various nuclear in Seoul. Especially, in 2001, the station was planned as a center for 3.39million population of northeastern Seoul and of Eastern Gyeonggi Province, serving as a transportation hub  between north and south Seoul, such as Susaeg, Yongsan and Cheongnyangni. In my opinion, the station, with its strong in residential but weak in business functions, was planned as only a gateway to centers of Seoul, in which business functions are integrated. 2. Benefits to Neighbor Residents The station played major roles in expanding boundaries of activities for northeastern Seoul and eastern Gyeonggi population. Especially, high accessibility to CBD and GBD leaded Wamsimni to behind residential district of Seoul. Instead, station district development of Wangsimni will be established, anticipated to serve as a commercial and business district in the future. In the regard of this, the station increased the number of convenience facilities for neighbor residents, and land prices related to management of Han river, giving indirect influences to northeastern Seoul and eastern Gyeonggi Province population.

Which strategy was proved to be successful?

1. Benchmark and Identifying Pros and Cons Solution to problems of private capital stations is extruded by benchmarking pros and cons. Wangsimni Square with an access road secured reduces traffic congestion on the main road. Other types of transportation stops are connected to transfer zones with efficient circulation. The station provides major connection to two railway-separated areas of Wangsimni, and introduces an anchor tenant in reflection of floating people passing through. 2. Acquisition of Financing in Advance Most private capital stations in Seoul is unstable in financing due to lacks of financial resources in planning stage and low business performance. However, the station was able to earn stable profits in the long term by leasing to CGV, Emart based on market research. I think the acquisition of rent and deposit from a finance-healthy anchor tenants  in advance had an important impact on the progress.

In your opinion, what could have improved this project?

1. Reflection of User's Need The investment ratio of private sector was approximated to 25~50%, making impossible to intervene operations of company from outside, neglecting complaints of users. Thus, it is necessary to set the ratio of KORAIL over 50%, or direct management. in addition to legislation reflecting opinions users. 2. Expansion of Development to Station District the station, planned as complex, should eventually move toward the development of the station district, aggregating residential and business functions. However, because of lack of zero-gravity land, not even designated as commercial zone, active cooperation of local governments is required. 3. Adjusting Commercial Facilities The high proportion of commercial facilities in the station should be adjusted. This is because the station lacks public spaces for residents, with circulations of commercial and stationary facilities expected to collide after additionally scheduled subway lines. 4. Reducing Parking Spaces Unlike the other commercial facilities, the station should utilize accessibility through transportation to reduce parking spaces of mobility. However, the area of parking space is legally calculated by the area of facilities inside without its characteristic, leading to 31103㎡ (31.8%). By reducing over-calculation, facilities for the benefit to users can be made.

Any other comments?

1. In the View of Developer I think it is worth investing in the station. Donating only 10% for stationary facility in a condition of operating the commercial facilities for 30 years in residential areas with demands is high in business feasibility due to renting lands at low cost. Because grace period is 56 months, and repayment by installment 128 months for loans, net profit 2~3 billion can skyrocket in 3~4 years after repayment completed. Especially, as a metropolitan center, with favorable development expected, I believe that economic potential is high in the future. 2. In the View of KORAIL As mentioned, Including benefits of occupancy fees for useless upper parts of railway and profit dividends for 25% share, the station corresponded to policies of development in Wangsimni. In addition, capacity of stationary facility is planned based on expectation of 30 years after. As the station was expected to be transfer zone for Suin-Bundang Line, Gyeongui Central Line, and additional lines, project is business-feasible by acquiring stationary facility of that scale for free.


OFFLINE Resources and References

Urban Planning Facility Task Manual, Three-dimensional/Complex Spatial Planning Casebook, 2030 Seoul Living Area Planning, Seoul City Urban and Residential Environment Management Basic Plan-ning, A Study on Evaluation Criteria for the Financeability of Mixed-Use Development Projects in Seoul, Proposed Policy Guidelines for National Railroad Station Development, Retrospective Search and Study on Utilizing Railway Station District, Improvement of the System in Railroad Station-areas Development, The Implications After the Development of a Complex Private Station for Three-dimensional Urbanization in Korea, A Study on the Commercial Land Use Change in Subway Station Area Influenced by Railroad Station Complex Development


Leave a Reply

Contributor audex


AUDEX is an acknowledgement that we need to start building on our own knowledge and experiences that applies to Asian cities and, perhaps, we can steer the global urbanization in the right direction. We believe in a collective intelligence. Powered by the internet and the network of professionals and experts in Asia, we propose to start by making sharing your experience and knowledge easier.