Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Taubman Centers, Inc., has been quietly assembling the pieces for Songdo City Shopping Center in Incheon, South Korea. In late April, Taubman Asia Management Ltd., the firm's Asia-based subsidiary, announced that it signed Seoul-based Lotte Department Store to anchor the 1.1-million-square-foot property.
The property will be the first Western-style shopping center in the country when it opens in 2011. Currently, most Korean shopping centers are dominated by single, large department stores and lack space for small retailers. The Daniel Libeskind-designed center will feature a grocery store, movie theater, 150 in-line stores and skating rink.
Compared to U.S.-based department stores, the Lotte chain ranks somewhere between a Neiman Marcus and a Bergdorf Goodman, according to Morgan Parker, president of Taubman Asia. “Lotte Department Store is a Korean icon,” he says.
New Songdo City is a master-planned $30 billion project located 40 miles south of Seoul. Conceived by Gale International, the project will consist of 100 million square feet and house some 350,000 residents and office workers when completed in 2014.