HomeVoorhees NewsMayor Michael Mignogna’s column

Mayor Michael Mignogna’s column

The concept of incorporating the Voorhees Town Hall into the Voorhees Town Center has attracted international attention. On June 18, representatives of Voorhees Township and the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) were privileged to host an 18-person delegation from Namwon City, South Korea, who wanted to learn about the project. Members of their city council and administration are intrigued by the idea and are considering the same plan in their city.

We engaged in a very interesting dialogue, sharing information about the manner in which the idea was conceived, its consistency with smart growth and the financial boost to the town center businesses. The delegation was particularly interested in the goal of creating a “downtown” where people can live, work, shop, and play.

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Namwon City has a population of 100,000 and is located approximately 175 miles south of Seoul on the southern third of the Korean peninsula. It was incorporated in 1981 and merged with adjacent rural communities in 1995. The city has approximately 1,000 municipal employees and the council believes the unique town center concept will work well in their country.

Following our exchange of ideas, the delegation toured the mall portion of the Town Center as well as the shopping boulevard and residential area.

At the conclusion of their visit, the Namwon City Council presented Voorhees Township with a framed copper flat commemorating their visit. The flat depicts Namwon City as the setting of the famous Korean tale, “The Story of Chunhyang,” which tells how love overcomes differences in class and social status. The story of love and happiness is comparable to the tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet, but with a blissful ending.

While we often share issues and ideas with surrounding municipalities, the visit by the Namwon City Council presented a unique opportunity to compare notes and exchange ideas on an international level.

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