A New International City Where Superlatives Abound
By Michael Roney
While many business capitals are burdened by high expenses, environmental hazards, overtaxed infrastructure and nonstop inconvenience, the proverbial dream come true is rising in Korea. A totally new city, Songdo International Business District (IBD), is poised to become the gateway to the exploding markets of Northeast Asia while setting new standards in quality of life, commercial opportunities and environmental sustainability.
Developed by New York-based Gale International and Korean company POSCO E&C, Songdo IBD is being built from the ground up from an ambitious and brilliant master plan. Just 40 miles west of Seoul, situated between China and Japan in the heart of Northeast Asia, Songdo IBD is open for business. Its staggering superlatives need to be seen to be fully appreciated.
“Songdo IBD has set the standard for sustainable urban planning and is moving rapidly from visionary ideal to dynamic reality. These are exciting times,” says John B. Hynes, III, Gale International’s chief executive officer and managing partner.
Conceived to Compete
Only 20 minutes from Korea’s five-star* Incheon International Airport, Songdo IBD’s unique location puts residents only three hours from a third of the world’s population. The development will include 50 million square feet of office space and nearly 45 million square feet of residential, retail and luxury hotel space. The city’s designation as a Free Economic Zone, with multinational commerce incentives and English as its primary language, makes Songdo IBD a place where the international corporate community can work, live and recreate. The district even has its own private and public schools, hospital and thriving cultural scene.
Perfected for People
Songdo IBD is a world-class city designed to provide an exceptional quality of life, where ultimately 300,000 people will work with unparalleled comfort and convenience; where Internet connectivity is ubiquitous; and where 65,000 residents will enjoy 40% open space, including a 100-acre Central Park and a Jack Nicklaus championship golf course, museums and numerable outdoor recreational options. Beautiful residential choices range from garden apartments to state-of-the-art high-rise apartments, competing with the best of the best in Hong Kong, Tokyo or Singapore. Songdo IBD also will be one of the world’s greenest cities, following the world-standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Open for Business
Songdo IBD’s architecturally stunning, 1.3 million-square-foot convention center opened its doors in August 2008; and a luxury 25-story Convention Center Hotel will be accepting guests next year, as will the city’s 65-story Northeast Asia Trade Tower. This represents a powerful opportunity for investors and international businesses that want to establish a strategic foothold in the world’s fastest-growing marketplace. The reality of Songdo IBD is now.
For additional information about Songdo IBD, contact Gale International by visiting www.galeintl.com or www.songdo.com, or email SongdoIBD@galeintl.com.
* Source: Skytrax Research (www.skytraxresearch.com) is a leading advisor to the airline industry.