The Korea Herald

지나쌤

Popular bakery may pull out of Daejeon Station due to rent dispute

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : May 29, 2024 - 13:52

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Culture Minister Yu In-chon (right) visits the Daejeon Station branch of Sungsimdang in this May 17 photo. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism) Culture Minister Yu In-chon (right) visits the Daejeon Station branch of Sungsimdang in this May 17 photo. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism)

Sungsimdang, a renowned bakery that has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Daejeon, recently said it may close its Daejeon Station branch over a rent dispute with the station operator.

Korail has rented out a space to the bakery since 2012, with a five-year contract inked in 2019 due to expire in October.

Sungsimdang currently pays 100 million won ($73,300) a month for the space, but Korail is reportedly requesting around 440 million won for the next contract, which would be around 17 percent of the bakery's monthly sales.

The sudden surge in rent is sparked by accusations against the national railway operator of favoritism toward the bakery.

One of the most vocal critics toward the supposed favoritism has been Rep. Yoo Gyeong-joon of the conservative People Power Party, who on Tuesday posted on his Facebook page that the bakery's current rent is far too lower than the Korail regulations for rent. According to Yoo, the Korail's regulations state that the rent for a shop inside a station is set in accordance with the shop's sales -- ranging from 17 percent to 49 percent of the sales.

The Sungsimdang branch takes in about 2.6 billion won a month.

Sungsimdang, on the other hand, said it would be impossible for the Daejeon Station branch to be in operation, considering the personnel expenses it spends on its 140 employees. Operators of the Daejeon Station branch are currently mulling moving out of the station to relocate in adjacent buildings.