SM Entertainment’s Headquarters Reportedly Violates Building Act

The news outlet Biz Hankook has reported that SM Entertainment’s headquarters located in the neighborhood of Apgujeong, Gangnam has been used illegally.

According to the report, the Gangnam District Office conducted an on-site inspection and ordered the agency to take corrective measures. If the agency fails to make the corrections, they will be fined.

It’s described that according to the Corporate Registration Office, SM Entertainment’s main branch is located in the neighborhood of Cheongdam, Gangnam District at the entrance of Apgujeong. While the SM Building was being remodeled from 2013’s Global Artist Training Center to 2017’s SM Entertainment Celebrity Center, part of SM Entertainment’s main branch was moved to a multi-family residential building right behind it.

Although the building prohibited outsiders from entering, there was a fingerprint reader installed in the first floor and employees of SM Entertainment frequented the location. SM Entertainment trainee A said, “It is the building where employees from SM Entertainment’s main branch go to work and it is not used as a residential building.”

According to the building’s registration, all 15 homes on the first to third floor are registered as multi-family units. Using multi-family units as offices violates the building act. SM Entertainment changed the boundary walls of the multi-family units and reported the reduced number of units to the Gangnam District Office. In the process, they did not apply for the change of use of the building, which is another issue.

A source from Gangnam District Office’s Refurbishment Project Department said, “SM Entertainment violated the building act by using multi-family units in a residential building as offices. If you want to change a lower group (household) to a higher group (neighborhood facility), you must obtain permission from the district office of jurisdiction, but SM Entertainment appears to have violated the act. We plan on conducting on-site inspections of the building within this week. If they refuse to let us in, then we are required to send an official letter of cooperation before entering, which will take longer. We have no choice but to issue an order for corrective measures to the building’s owner, Lee Soo Man, and charge a fine if he fails to make the changes.”

According to the Gangnam District Office, SM Building that is operating as SM Entertainment Celebrity Center will also be regulated. According to the building registration, SM Building’s owner, Lee Soo Man, changed the use of the first basement floor boiler room to a multi-family unit (meeting room) and the use of the first basement floor and second floor from multi-occupancy units (4 units) to a type 2 neighborhood living facility (office) in January of 2012. However, he left the use of the third and fourth floor as multi-family units (4 units). If they used the third and fourth floors as offices, then SM Building will be included as another building being used illegally.

A source from Gangnam District Office said, “After conducting an on-site inspection, we will have to review the act with the related department. If SM Entertainment Celebrity Center (SM Building) and the residential building behind it are considered buildings that cannot be repurposed, then the building owner, Lee Soo Man, must restore the buildings back. I hope they prepare for this possibility by submitting an application for change of use and obtain permission.”

Biz Hankook obtained the contact information of the person in charge of SM’s public relations to hear SM Entertainment’s side, but they have not heard back for six days.

SM Entertainment’s founder, Lee Soo Man, purchased a Cambridge residential building (8 units) in October 1999 and changed its name to SM Building in July 2016. He also purchased the residential homes (17 units) on the first to third floor of the building behind SM Building on January of 2005. SM Entertainment rents the buildings from Lee Soo Man and uses them as their headquarters as well as SM Entertainment Celebrity Center.

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