LG Electronics has begun constructing a new headquarters building in the United States. The company held on February 7 a groundbreaking ceremony at the Englewood Cliffs (New Jersey) site. The building with the total floor area of 63,000 square meters will be completed by late 2019 at the cost of US$300 million.
The floor area of the new building, consisting of four- and five-story buildings, is six times more than the current one. LG Electronics will put together all the offices scattered around in New Jersey under one roof, with offices of other affiliates such as LG Household & Health Care and LG CNS within the same building.
Cho Joo-wan, CEO of LG Electronics North America, said, "The U.S. business has gotten so much bigger to account for as much as 30 percent of the whole global sales revenue. With the establishment of the state-of-the-art headquarters building, we will try hard to make LG the No. 1 brand in the United States."
Back in 2010, the company began the construction of the building at the former site of Citibank computing center at the cost of $55 million. Although it planned to build an eight-story building on the site, it soon faced opposition from environmental advocacy groups. The site was sitting right across the Palisades Interstate Park on the western shore of the Hudson River. The Rockefeller Foundation that donated the land in the past opposed any construction that would ruin the magnificent view. The foundation mobilized senators from the New York State Legislature and the public opinion through New York Times op-ed pieces.
Although there were rounds of legal battles and protests against the construction for years, what broke the stalemate was a promise of jobs. With the promise of up to 2,000 new jobs, New Jersey state and Englewood Cliffs city governments brokered a deal between LG and Rockefeller who compromised that LG would fold its plan to build an eight-story building while Rockefeller would stop insisting it be lower than three stories.