Business / Corporate

Aeon Mall to open sprawling new facility at former Space World site in Kitakyushu as early as 2021

Kyodo

Shopping mall developer Aeon Mall Co. will open a commercial complex, by 2021 at the earliest, at a lot in Kitakyushu where amusement park Space World once stood, according to local government officials.

The landowner, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., and the unit of retail giant Aeon Co. have been discussing usage of the site in Fukuoka Prefecture, and have informed Fukuoka Gov. Hiroshi Ogawa and Kitakyushu Mayor Kenji Kitahashi that Aeon Mall has been selected to operate the business project.

Aeon Mall is planning to open a complex encompassing entertainment, culture and dining facilities in addition to shopping areas.

According to the city government, the two companies signed a provisional lease contract for the 270,000 square meter lot on Friday. A formal deal is expected to be struck after the lease contract between the steel-maker and the operator of Space World expires at the end of June and all of the theme park’s rides and attractions have been removed.

Both the governor and the mayor expressed their intention to work toward the new project’s completion.

Concerned about how the closure of the popular amusement park could impact the local economy, Ogawa and Kitahashi visited the steel-maker’s head office last April before it was shuttered at the end of last year and urged the company to make good use of the lot.