Chinese property developer LongRunn International Group is reportedly developing a large-scale casino resort complex in South Korea’s Yeongjong Island (pictured), part of the Incheon Free Economic Zone. The project, called “Diamond City”, is adjacent to a casino scheme being co-developed by U.S. casino group Caesars Entertainment Corp and mainland Chinese developer Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd, according to LongRunn’s official website.
On February 11, LongRunn International inked a deal with the Incheon authorities to purchase a 76,000 square-metre (818,000 sq-foot) land parcel in Yeongjong for KRW87.1 billion (US$81.5 million), several South Korean media reported, citing the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority.
The development cost of Diamond City will be over US$4 billion, according to media reports. In its official website, LongRunn International describes Diamond City as a mixed development featuring residential units, a high-end hotel, casino, office tower, a mall, schools, “medical and aesthetics centre”, an “interactive world cultural avenue”, a “k-pop hub” and theme parks.
LongRunn International says in its website that it will partner with Chinese state-owned firms and a Hong Kong real estate developer for the casino scheme; none of the partner firms is identified. The firm also reports that it has been “working closely” with South Korea’s government regarding the Diamond City project since 2014.
Yeongjong Island, home to the Incheon International Airport, already hosts a casino resort and several others are under development.
The first phase of Paradise City – with a gaming facility open only to foreigners – was inaugurated in April last year. The project, located close to the Incheon International Airport, is a joint venture between South Korean casino operator Paradise Co Ltd and Japanese pachinko operator Sega Sammy Holdings Inc.
U.S. regional tribal casino operator Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is currently building a casino resort named “Inspire” in Yeongjong Island, with a targeted overall project opening in 2021.
Philippines-based casino investor Bloomberry Resorts Corp purchased in 2015 a 12.2-hectare plot in Muui Island and the entire Silmi Island, both within Incheon Free Economic Zone. The company said last November it planned to develop the two properties into “a leisure and tourism complex with entertainment facilities and mixed uses developments”.
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