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  1. Michael is offline themeparX Top Investigator
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Universal Studios Korea is having trouble with the funding of the project:

    South Korea is facing rough sailing in its ambitious plan to build a Universal Studios theme park south of Seoul due to a row over how to bankroll the big-budget project, sources said Tuesday.

  2. Michael is offline themeparX Top Investigator
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Universal Studios project likely to fall through

    A plan to build a Universal Studios theme park in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, is facing rough going as negotiations aren’t proceeding smoothly within the consortium.

    According to the Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water), the parties to the project are having difficulties reaching an agreement on some issues including how much of a stake each will have in the project.

    “We previously announced that the deal would be signed by the end of June, but it is likely to be delayed until August,” said a K-Water spokesman.

    The statement follows a local media report that the project, which was one of President Park Geun-hye’s election pledges, is about to fall through.

    K-Water announced back in December that it selected the USK Consortium as the preferred bidder for the project.

    The consortium is composed of Universal Studios Korea Property Holdings, Daewoo Engineering & Construction, Dohwa Engineering of Korea and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation. K-Water, Gyeonggi Province, Hwaseong and the Korea Development Bank (KDB) are also participating in the consortium.

    K-Water had said that by the end of June they would sign an agreement to open the theme park, which is to be the fifth Universal Studios park, by 2020.

    The 5 trillion won project includes a Universal Studios theme park, a golf resort, a water park, a shopping center and condominiums on a 4.2 square kilometer plot.

    The project drew attention as it could attract an increasing number of foreign tourists because it is located about an hour from Seoul by car and is close to Incheon International Airport.

    According to a media report, however, those participating in the consortium are concerned with uncertainties. Investors doubt the plan will build momentum as the Park Geun-hye administration is heading toward the end of its five-year term.

    KDB is also facing restructuring pressure from shipbuilding and shipping companies, for which it is the main creditor, and is sitting on snowballing debt.

    The K-Water spokesman said that members of the consortium are having problems reaching a consensus, but stressed that this doesn’t mean the project will fall through.

    “We expect that a detailed plan will be set in August. It will be announced after the appointment of our new CEO that month. If construction begins around the end of this year as planned, it will open in 2021.”

    K-Water’s former CEO Choi Gye-woon suddenly quit in May, six months ahead of the end of his term. The sudden resignation prompted suspicion that he was pressured to quit so that the post could be taken by a governing Saenuri Party politician who lost in the April 13 general election.

    Analysts say that this contrasts with other countries where governments are giving full support to attract global theme parks, such as Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

    Economists estimate the opening of Disneyland in Shanghai will have a 35 billion yuan (6.2 trillion won) economic effect on China’s tourism industry, raising Shanghai’s regional GDP by 0.8 percent.

    The Universal Studios project in Hwaseong was first led by Lotte Group, but it backed out in 2012 after failing to reach an agreement on the land price with K-Water. “Back then, Lotte had to buy land from K-Water due to regulations, which was too burdensome for Lotte amid the global financial crisis. With a revision of the law, K-Water is now providing the land as an investor,” the K-Water spokesman said.

    Experts point out that the government should note that theme parks are a major part of tourism infrastructure, instead of pressuring them with a myriad of regulatory hurdles.

  3. Korean media and developers have been announcing theme park opening news with flashy (perhaps unrealistic) promotion videos so many times in the past -- Disneyland, Universal Studio, Paramount, MGM and Hello Kitty but all of them cancelled.
    Many times, those reported "project" has never even agreed with the movie studios in US.
    It gets to the point of "the boy who cried wolf" since I'm always excited for the news.

  4. Tala is offline themeparX Top Investigator
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    The land in Hwaseong, Gyonggi where USK is planned to be built.

  5. Has this piece of artwork been posted previously?


  6. When the JoongAng Ilbo emailed Universal asking for clarification, Universal on Jan. 1 replied that it was looking into the feasibility of a project in Korea but had no involvement in the project announced by K-Water last year.

    Some industry insiders say Universal is aware that other Korean cities are competing to attract the American movie theme park. It is also planning a Universal Studios in Beijing that is slated to open in 2019. The agreement on building the Beijing theme park became official last September.

    “The project hasn’t been scrapped entirely, but the U.S. headquarters strongly protested because of outside factors,” said an official of a consortium selected as a primary bidder by K-Water to handle the project.

  7. It's back alive! Article published December 22, 2015:

    Korean Water Resource Management Company Revives Plan to Build Universal Studios Korea in Hwaseong, Slated to Open As Early As 2020
    The fifth Universal Studios will be constructed in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi and is expected to be open to the public as early as 2020.

    State-run water resource management company K-Water announced Tuesday that the new Universal Studios theme park will be built in Songsan Green City, which is located south of the Songdo International Business District and Incheon International Airport, Korea JoongAng Daily reported on the same day.
    Yonhap News reported a consortium of Chinese investors has been selected as the preferred bidder in the construction of the theme park. The multinational consortium consists of Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Dohwa Engineering of Korea together with China State Construction Engineering Corporation and China Travel Service.

    An estimate of $4.24 billion will be invested into the project. Of this amount, the consortium will pitch in the required 30 percent for the first phase.

    "I hope the central government and private sector's cooperation will successfully carry out the project, which will likely create jobs while lifting up the regional economy," K-Water CEO Choi Gye Woon said.

  8. The Korean government announced that they are trying to restart the development of Universal Studios Korea. Please use Google Translate from Korean to English:

  9. Definitely cancelled.

  10. It seems the Universal Studio Korea project has been cancelled.

    Tom Williams, Universal Park and Resorts CEO, visiting Osaka for the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studio Japan, said that the Universal Studio Korea project has been cancelled in an interview with Nihon Keizai Shinbun, Japan's leading economic newspaper, on July 15th, 2014.

    He also said that UPR currently has no plan to open a theme park in China.

    Nihon Keizai Shinbun article (in Japanese):

    On the next day, the Korean media reported it, as well.
    Korean media (in Korean):

    The interview article on Nihon Keizai Shinbun did not state a reason for this given by Tom Williams, but the Korean report explains the cancelling occured due to unsolved problems over real estate and properties.

    The Korean media has reported numerous rumors that Disney would open a park in Korea many times in the past, but the Universal Studio Korea project sounded promising despite the many years of delay.

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