The Ministry of Finance yesterday for the second time failed to attract any bidders to an auction for a land development project in Taipei.
“The auction did not draw any bids as of the deadline,” the ministry’s National Property Administration said in a press release.
Jeffrey Huang (黃增福), an associate manager of Evertrust Rehouse Co (永慶房屋), said a certain strict requirement was the major factor dragging down land developers’ interest in joining the bidding.
Under the ministry’s plan, the winning bidder would be required to construct two buildings for the ministry’s use — one of them a dormitory building for the ministry’s training institute and the other an office building.
“It will be hard [for the development project] to impress land developers as the winning bidder has to help build a dormitory, which is not easy to plan and manage,” Huang said by telephone.
The project, which covers a state-owned property of more than 10,000 ping (33,000m2) on Roosevelt Road between Wanlong MRT Station and Jingmei MRT Station, used to house a training institute for civil servants who work in the finance ministry.
The project is expected to be developed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, with the winning bidder allowed to develop the land for 50 years.
Other than the two buildings for the ministry’s use, the winning bidder would be allowed to develop the rest of the land for both commercial and residential use.
The ministry said the land for commercial use is appropriate for a large shopping center, based on a preliminary evaluation by a consultant company under its preliminary plan.
The ministry maintained the same requirements for the bidder in the second-round auction. The first-round auction for the project was held in April and it also failed to attract a bidder.
On Monday, National Property Administration Chief Secretary Chen Hsiu-chin (陳秀琴) said the administration would review the project if it failed to find a buyer at the second-round auction.
“We will see if the requirements need to be adjusted to attract more bidders,” Chen said.
However, the cancelation of the auction for a second time has raised more uncertainties about the administration’s plan to release more state-owned lands for development, as the project is the first one launched by the ministry in cooperation with private companies.
Originally, the administration hoped to run more auctions of land to developers, in an effort to activate idle assets and save government costs.
The administration yesterday stood by its plan to announce 12 new land projects tomorrow, believing the auction concept would be widely accepted by land developers in the near future.