Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Far Glory going ahead with dome

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Far Glory Group (遠雄企業), contract builder for Taipei's first dome stadium, may increase its stake in the yet-to-be-built project from the current 60 percent to 100 percent, the company's chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄) said yesterday.

"If necessarily, Far Glory and several of its affiliates can afford the NT$700 million (US$20 billion) project on our own," Chao told a press conference, in a move aimed at rebuilding public confidence in the project after its design team pulled out of the build-operate-transfer (BOT) project last month.

Ricky Liu & Associates (劉培森建築師事務所), the firm that had been appointed to do the design work, last month quit the project, citing disagreement over the allotment of shares in a planned dome company.

The dome company must be set up two months after the construction team signs an agreement with the city government.

In mid-May, the construction team led by Far Glory won the contract to build the baseball stadium at the historical site of the Sungshan Tobacco Factory (松山菸廠) in downtown Taipei.

Chao yesterday said he has not ruled out the possibility of looking for new shareholders to take up Liu Associates' proposed 40 percent share.

The team is slated to conclude the final contract with the city government next week. The stadium is scheduled to be completed within the next five years, Chao said.

Chao reiterated that the shake-up in partners won't have any impact on the project's future and quality.

He expects the selection of world-class designers and architects to be finalized next week to replace Liu, and that it will take at most two months to come up with a new blueprint for the baseball stadium.

Since construction is slated to begin next August, "the completion schedule will not be delayed," Chao said, adding that the to-be-hired designers and architects will be much more experienced and stronger than Liu's team.

Five teams of architects, including the US firms HOK Sport Inc and Rossetti Associates Architects, as well as several international designers and builders, have offered to take over Liu's job and complete the dome's construction, which will have 40,000 seats and is scheduled to be completed in June 2008.

The cost may change, depending on the dome's new design, Chao said, adding that Liu's former design, which he criticized as having been poorly done, will be scrapped.

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