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JLL Gets Nod as Broker of $500M Korean ProjectSEOUL, SOUTH KOREA-A global reach and understanding of the Asian market are key reasons Jones Lang LaSalle has been named exclusive leasing agent for a $500-million commercial tower under construction here, according to Gale International, chief developers of the 65-story, 1.3-million-sf structure. Gale CEO John B. Hynes III also lauds “exceptional” JLL personnel leading the assignment to find office tenants for the Northeast Asia Trade Tower, Korea’s tallest building upon completion.

“The way the team is stitched together makes us feel very comfortable we are making the right choice,” Hynes tells GlobeSt.com. The building, which recently broke ground, is part of Gale’s visionary New Songdo City, a 1,500-acre expanse of reclaimed land that will yield $25 billion of investment in what is being touted as the largest private real estate undertaking in history. A division of the Gale Cos. of Roseland, NJ, Gale International is a 70% owner in New Songdo City, while Posco E&C has the remaining interest.

The top 20 stories of the tower, which will rise 1,000 feet above the Yellow Sea, will be used as luxury hotel and extended stay apartments, while there will also be flagship boutiques offering famous fashion names and other retail options. The remainder of the Northeast Asia Trade Tower will be used for office space targeting leading international corporations and financial institutions. JLL’s network of 160 offices in 50 countries is precisely the platform required to carry off such a tenant hunt, says Hynes, calling it “a major consideration” in the firm’s designation.

“They have an awesome program,” says Hynes, as well as a keen “grasp” of the Seoul business community. JLL managing director James Tyrell, who handles the Korean market, predicts the tower will benefit from “top-notch specifications, innovative design and high quality facilities,” all attractive to multinational companies. “We will leverage our global and regional network to introduce and market this project to our clients and prospects around the world,” says Tyrell. “We expect interest levels to be high.”

Among the reasons for optimism, according to Tyrell and Hynes, is the solid office market in Seoul and growing interest among companies to use the metropolis as their Asian beachhead. New Songdo City is also being designated as a Free Economic Zone, and will include virtually every element needed for an urban living and working environment. The venture calls for 50 million sf of office space, 30 million sf of residential space, five million sf dedicated to hotels and another 10 million sf of open space, including an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. About $4 billion is under construction presently, says Hynes, and a like amount of new work could be in development by year’s end.

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