Thu, Mar 18, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Huaku wins bid on Tianmu &treasure*

&REASONABLE*Though the price for a 1,715 ping plot of land did not break records, the winning bid of NT$7.028 billion was 41.4 percent higher than the minimum price

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Huaku Development Co (?嘐膘偞), the nation*s second-largest residential apartment builder, yesterday outbid six other domestic land developers and life insurers to acquire a 1,715 ping (5,668m2) plot of land in Tianmu (毞譫), Taipei City, for NT$7.028 billion (US$221.4 million), or NT$4.09 million per ping, the deal*s auctioneer, CB Richard Ellis, said yesterday.

That represents a 41.4 percent premium on the land auction*s floor price of NT$4.97 billion, which the owner, Taipei-based charity group Evangelize China Fellowship, had set.

Expressing satisfaction with the result, Hong Van (?峏?), managing director of CB Richard Ellis Taiwan, told reporters that he believed ※the deal*s closing price is reasonable, not outrageously high and only represents a thee-year averaged [hike].§

However, the deal did not break a record set by the National Property Administration*s January auction of a 116.16 ping plot on Renai Road in Taipei for NT$6.79 million per ping, 135 percent over the floor price of NT$2.89 million.

Yesterday*s winning bid was within 5 percent of the second-highest bid, Van said. He declined to identify the six other bidders, which included Cathay Life Insurance (?怍??).

The realtor had earlier dubbed the parcel of land the ※last treasure in Tianmu§ and best for an upscale luxury residential project, which would yield the highest return and snap a minimum unit price of between NT$1.3 million and NT$1.5 million per ping.

Van estimated that the prices of the luxury homes to be built on the site may average NT$1.7 million per ping 〞 likely to be the most expensive residential property unit price in the district 〞 depending on urban renewal benefits.

Susan Liu (??繩), vice president of Huaku Development, yesterday confirmed that the company would launch a residential project there in 2012 with two to three units per floor.

However, she refused to forecast the project*s pricing on concerns that it may invite unnecessary criticism from the government, which is making efforts to curb property prices in the city.

※We will only reap a reasonable profit now that the land price in Taipei has increased,§ she said.

She also confirmed that the company won the bid by a mere NT$100 million over Cathay Life Insurance*s bid of NT$6.9 billion.

Taiwan Realty Co (怢?滇挌) analyst Chiu Tai-hsuan (⑨怮嬧) said yesterday in a press statement that Huaku is likely to build a 21-story residential apartment there, which would be a new landmark in the district although other analysts may not share the land developer*s optimism in Tianmu.

In related news, Nelson Chi (憚埬), a former resident of Tianmu, yesterday joined 10 other protesters to urge the land*s previous owner, Evangelize China Fellowship, to make good use of its proceeds in doing charity work.

He said that the group might neglect the children it is looking after by relocating its orphanage to a worse living environment in Beitou.

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