Incheon Tower

INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA-A developer consortium has broken ground on the 151-story Incheon Tower, expected to become the second tallest tower in the world. The developers are Portman Holdings, Samsung C&T Corp. Hyundai E&C and SYM Associates. The mixed-use building is part of the $35 billion, 1,500-acre Songdo International Business District, going up here in this port city about 15 miles west of Seoul.

At 2,000 feet high, the 5.7-million-sf building will have a multitude of uses. There will be 30 floors of commercial offices, a 300-room hotel, apartments and condominiums, two public observation levels at floors 118 and 119, five stories of retail and a restaurant at the top of the tower, according to a statement from the project engineers, Thornton Tomasetti. Three four-story sky bridges will connect floors 57 to 60, 84 to 87 and 116 to 119. The company did not return a request for comment.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said at the groundbreaking ceremony that the tower will symbolize the city and the country, according to the statement. “I hope this project delivers a better standard of living and more jobs for the city, and the country as a whole,” he said in the statement.

The entire Songdo district will have a total build out of 100 million sf, and is expected to have 65,000 residents. Completion of the Incheon Tower is now expected for 2014, according to the statement. It’s not clear why the finish date has been moved back from 2010, as reported in a previous story. The building was designed by John Portman & Associates.