Songdo International Business District Subject of Largest Financing in Korean History

2007-11-21 07:53 3300

$2.7 Billion Financing Agreement with Shinhan Bank Consortium Will Result in Accelerated Development of Songdo IBD

NEW YORK and INCHEON, South Korea, Nov. 21 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --

New Songdo International City Development, LLC today concluded a $2.7 billion syndicated financing agreement with arranger Shinhan Bank and 12 other participating banks, thought to be the largest such real estate financing in Korean history. New Songdo International City Development (NSIC), a 70/30 joint venture between New York's Gale International and POSCO E&C, is developing the 1,500 acre Songdo International Business District in Incheon, South Korea. Songdo International Business District (IBD) is both a Korean national project and a unique international partnership, although one that remains essentially a private initiative.

Shinhan Bank is directly funding nearly $1.7 billion of the $2.7 billion financing. Other participating institutions include the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), Hana Bank, Kumho Life Insurance, the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC), Tong Yang Life Insurance, The Daegu Bank, Jeon Buk Bank, the Kyong Nam Bank, Pusan Bank, Shinhan Life Insurance, and Dongbu Life Insurance. The financing will be used to purchase an additional land parcel that is critical to the Songdo IBD master plan, as well as fund construction and the development of additional Songdo IBD facilities. It also is expected to be used in part to consolidate and repay prior financing.

The financing will accelerate commercial development in the city, and help attract further domestic and foreign investment. Songdo IBD's commercial center offers 45 million square feet of office space in key projects such as the Northeast Asia Trade Tower, Gateway Center and International Plaza to leading Korean and multinational companies.

Stanley C. Gale, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gale International, said, "This historic financing will be a catalyst, opening the gates of investment from domestic and foreign concerns. Songdo is moving full speed ahead."

John B. Hynes, III, CEO and Managing Partner of Gale International said, "Currently we have $5 billion of construction underway in Songdo IBD, representing 45 separate buildings in 12 project areas. This financing will enable us to purchase the remaining 300 acres of land from the city and to jumpstart the next phase of our development activity."

Shinhan Bank's Vice President Lee Hyuwon said, "Songdo IBD will be a growth engine for Korea's next generation. Shinhan Bank will do all it can to help make sure this happens."

POSCO E&C Senior Vice President Cho Yong-kyung said, "Through the strong partnership between Gale International and POSCO E&C, the IBD has shown visible progress in the past two years. Core facilities are well underway, and I am sure that the current project financing will enable the continued, steady development of Songdo International City."

Gale International is a premier international real estate development and investment company headquartered in New York with offices in Boston; Irvine, California; Seoul and New Songdo, South Korea.

Songdo IBD, "The Gateway to Northeast Asia," officially opens in August, 2009 as the first new city in the world designed and planned as an international business district. This $30 billion, 100-million square foot, master-planned metropolis is thought to be the largest private real estate venture in the world. Songdo IBD will be connected to the Incheon International Airport, one of the world's busiest, by a new 7.4 mile highway bridge; and linked by subway to Seoul, just 35 miles away. It is estimated that Songdo IBD will be home to 65,000 people and that 300,000 will work there. Songdo IBD is located within the Incheon Free Economic Zone.

Songdo IBD will offer 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 will be 40 percent green space, and long-term sustainability and the minimization of the city's carbon footprint have been considered in every design and engineering decision. Indeed, Songdo IBD was recently named a "green urbanism" pilot project by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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. The project will include forty-five million square feet of office space, thirty million square feet of residential space, ten million square feet of retail, five million square feet of hotel space and ten million square feet of public space. More information can be found at .

Source: Gale International
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