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INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA-Taubman Centers is vying for the retail component of New Songdo City, a planned 20-square-mile city that will be developed here over the next 15 to 20 years with some 95 million sf of office, residential, retail and hotel development. Bloomfield, MI-based Taubman says it has entered discussions and signed a letter of interest with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds and Gale International, who with partner POSCO E&C will be developing about two square miles (1,500 acres) of the new city. The budget for their portion of the project is $12.7 billion.The letter of interest “outlines the process to form a company to exclusively develop the retail components of New Songdo City, Incheon, South Korea,” according to Taubman’s press release. “Upon final agreement, the new company would be granted an exclusive right to invest in and act as the managing general partner for a retail joint venture entity to be formed in 2005.”New Songdo City, the first ever US-Korea real estate venture, is one of the largest, mixed-use development projects ever undertaken. The area has been designated a Free Economic Zone (FEZ), which provides significant tax incentives for corporations and residents. The city is expected to include 50 million sf of office space, 30 million sf of residential space, 10 million sf of retail, five million sf of hotel space and 10 million sf of public space. Harvard University affiliate, Harvard Medical International, has been engaged as a development partner for medical facilities. The schools are being planned in conjunction with the Harvard Advisory Group. A consortium of six leading IT companies: Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, YoungWoo & Associates, LG CNS and KT Corp. are providing technical support to the city. Plans also include a wide range of cultural and recreational amenities to be available, including a Jack Nicklaus golf course.

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