Gale International signed a Memorandum of Understanding with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and Hanjin Group on October 18, 2007 to advance Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea. Chairman and Managing Partner of Gale International Stanley C. Gale, Chairman and CEO George David of United Technologies Corporation, and Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho agreed to collaborate on advancing Songdo International Business District in South Korea as a model of sustainability and technological innovation. Alexander R.Vershbow, United States ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Thomas C. Hubbard, chairman of the Gale International Advisory Board, and Ken Fox, vice president of On-Site Power Solutions at UTC were also present at the signing ceremony.
The Songdo project is being developed by New York based Gale International on 1500 acres of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront. Stanley Gale noted: "The participation of international leaders such as United Technologies and Hanjin Group ensures that Songdo IBD will set the standard for sustainable urban planning. Today is yet another indication of how Songdo IBD has moved from visionary ideal to dynamic reality." The new friends of Gale International, United Technologies Corporation and Hanjin Group will be involved in key projects in urban development.
David, Cho, Gale, and CEO John B. Hynes also of Gale outlined their joint goals in Songdo IBD, including two landmark projects. Gale International and UTC will collaborate on the Gale International/U-Life Northeast Asia Headquarters, the first LEED-Platinum building in Korea and the centerpiece of the 800,000 square foot, mixed-use U-Life Complex. U-Life, Songdo IBD's ubiquitous computing division, is a joint venture of Gale International, POSCO E&C and LG CNS. The headquarters will be a model of sustainable building design and will include an extensive public exhibit area for UTC innovations in use in Songdo IBD. UTC will also assist Gale in implementing best-in-class green technologies from other companies throughout Songdo. Songdo IBD as a whole was recently named a green urbanism pilot project by the US Green Building Council. Gale International will also work closely with the recently formed Korea Green Building Council. CEO George David said: "Across UTC, all of our products convert energy to useful work, and new designs are much more efficient than traditional ones.
For example, Otis elevators that regenerate electric power when loads descend and operate with one quarter of the power otherwise needed. Or onsite electric power generation that cap-tures waste heat to drive nearby loads like air conditioning, consequently doubling energy efficiency. Or fuel cell powered busses with zero emissions. Fuel cell buses are about twice as energy efficient as diesel buses but since the total energy today isn't so great, neither are the savings. Diesel buses emit oxides of sulfur and nitrogen and lots of these, plus generate the noise so familiar and unpleasant to all of us. By contrast, fuel cell buses have no emissions and smell.Songdo IBD is an extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate on an urban scale what can be accomplished." This headquarters complex exemplifies how multinational corporations will utilize Songdo IBD as a test bed for their most innovative services and technologies.
Additionally, UTC's involvement served as a catalyst for Hanjin Group's participation in Songdo's overall sustainability effort. Thus Songdo IBD demonstrates a cascading affect in attracting top-tier multinationals to the city. The Gale International/U-Life Northeast Asia Headquarters and the Sustainable International Business Center are part of an accelerated development plan leading to the September 2009 opening of Songdo IBD that will include two high-concept, commercial developments totaling 7 million square feet.
Hanjin Group -- Korean Air and Inha University to be specific -- UTC and Gale will collaborate on the formation of the Sustainable International Business Center (SIBC), a large-scale research facility aimed at the study and communication of green ideas, technologies and products. "Songdo IBD is an important national project," continued Hanjin Group Chairman Cho. "Hanjin Group, particularly Korean Air, wants to help establish the city as the sustainability leader in Northeast Asia. We are pleased to work with our longtime friend United Technologies."
The SIBC also will be the future home of an annual sustainability conference that will position the Republic of Korea and Songdo IBD at the center of environmental initiatives in Northeast Asia. The center is envisioned as a showcase for leading edge green technologies. The SIBC is expected to anchor International Plaza, one of two Rockefeller Center-inspired building complexes also being announced today. International Plaza and Gateway Center will form the heart of the city's commercial district with a total of seven million square feet.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, P.C. will design the 3.5 million square feet International Plaza that covers three city blocks and incorporates five commercial buildings linked by low-rise retail. Gateway Center, which is another 3.5 million square feet building, will be designed by Kling Stubbins and is also planned to incorporate five buildings. Both offer prime views of Central Park and can accommodate customized buildings.
Songdo IBD's leadership in sustainable development is a key quality of life attribute for both corporations and residents. From the bedrock of its sustainability and U-Life initiatives, Songdo IBD offers every conceivable amenity including a world class hospital, an international preparatory school, museums, a 100 acre Central Park, and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea. Songdo IBD's iconic 65-story Northeast Asia Trade Tower will stand as Korea's tallest building and the stunning Convensia Convention Center will be Korea's largest column-free space.
Songdo IBD, The Gateway to Northeast Asia, officially opens in September 2009 as the first new city in the world designed and planned as an international business district. This US$25 billion, 100-million square foot, master-planned metropolis is said to be the largest private real estate venture in the world. Songdo IBD is connected to the Incheon International Airport, one of the world's busiest, by a new 7.4 mile highway bridge.
The city is also linked by subway to Seoul and is only 35 miles away. John Hynes concluded: "We look forward to working with UTC and Hanjin Group on making this the most sustainable city possible and fulfill the mandate of making Songdo IBD an economic hub of Northeast Asia."