Tue, Jun 18, 2002 - Page 10 News List

Taipei eyesore about to be replaced by complex

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

With plans to fill in the last piece of vacant property near the Jenai-Tunhwa Road circle in Taipei, Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) broke ground yesterday on a financial tower set to be completed in 2004.

The Taishin Bank Tower (台新金控大樓) will be located on the site of one of the city's biggest eyesores, the Regency Hotel (財神酒店).

"The 24-story 124m-tall building with six basement levels will become a new landmark in Taipei," said Thomas Wu (吳東亮), head of Taishin Financial.

After purchasing the land at auction for NT$4.5 billion two years ago, the bank will add NT$2 billion to construct the financial tower, which will serve as headquarters of Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), Taiwan Securities Corp (台証證券) and Taishin Bills Finance Corp (台新票券).

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) tried to steal some of Wu's thunder yesterday, claiming the building was part of an "urban-renewal project."

The Regency Hotel closed in 1982 because of financial difficulties. The Hungyuan Investment Group (鴻源投資集團) took over ownership in 1988.

While failing to solve property right disputes with the building's original investors, Hungyuan went bankrupt, leaving the building vacant for nearly 20 years.

"The new project has finally broken free of all previous disputes," said Peter Wang (汪其欣), CEO of Heng Chang, a development partner in the NT$7 billion project.

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