Lotte Skyscraper Allowed to Resume Construction

kpopluv, May 7, 2015, 8:47 a.m.

The Seoul municipal government on Thursday decided to lift its partial ban on the Lotte World Tower, nearly five months after it blocked usage of the disputed skyscraper and halted ongoing construction work amid safety concerns.

"The city has made its final decision to lift the usage ban on Lotte World Tower's aquarium and movie theater as well as the construction ban on its concert hall upon confirming their structural safety," a city official said.

The official stressed that Lotte should continue to assure the safety of the tower and said the decision will go into effect on Friday. Lotte Corp., the group affiliate that manages a shopping complex in the building, said it plans to reopen the tower one day after the ban is lifted and offer free admission to the aquarium and the movie theater for three days.

In December, the municipal government ordered the retail giant to halt construction of the concert hall and banned usage of several facilities following a series of accidents that stoked safety fears.

The tower, set to be the country's tallest building upon its completion in 2016, had been tainted with leaks at its aquarium as well as reported vibrations at the movie theater. The group also had to apologize for the death of a construction worker who died while trying to climb a scaffold.

Lotte Group, the country's biggest retail conglomerate, claims that the number of visitors to the tower has nearly halved recently compared with April 2014, when some 100,000 people visited it following its opening.

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