Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Air Force HQ redevelopment on hold

DIVIDED OPINION:‘A huge improvement in communication’ between local and central government officials is needed for progress, the Taipei deputy mayor said

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The progress of the former Air Force General Headquarters redevelopment project might be delayed because the Taipei City Government has not yet reached a consensus with the central government, Taipei Deputy Mayor Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚) said yesterday.

“The upcoming reshuffles regarding both the Cabinet and Taipei City Government will also affect the progress of the project,” Chang told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on the redevelopment program held by the National Development Council.

Chang’s remarks came after the council — the governmental agency that is working alongside the city government to redevelop the 7.15 hectare plot of land on Renai Road (仁愛路) — on Tuesday said it planned to send a proposal on the redevelopment project to the Executive Yuan for further deliberation before the end of this year.

The council also said the former Air Force site would be redeveloped mainly for cultural and creative industry use, before being open to investment by the end of next year.

“To be honest, we don’t even have a consensus on the basic blueprint for the project,” Chang said, adding that Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) might not agree with the council’s proposal.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) earlier in June ordered the council and city government to work together in drafting a redevelopment plan.

However, there had been no effective communication between the two sides over the past six months, Chang said.

“We need a huge improvement in communication,” he said.

Chang said the project is substantial and complicated, so it is impossible for it to take on investments by the end of next year as the council expected.

“Such a huge project should not be hurried,” he said.

Rather, the central government has to work alongside the city government to draft a detailed plan for the project, because it involves a complicated issue of changing the registration for land-use.

Chang said the city government would soon hold a meeting and hand over all relevant information to Ko, who defeated Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival Sean Lien (連勝文) in the mayoral election on Saturday.

While the central government has proposed to use the site for commercial use, Ko said during his mayoral campaign that he would build affordable housing at the site.

In response to Chang, an official with the council, who declined to be named, said the city government has been opposing all ideas proposed by the council.

“From our point of view, it is important to map out a blueprint for the development project first and then to discuss the details of the project, but the Taipei City Government does not agree with this,” the official said.

The official said National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) was supposed to have a meeting with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) at the end of October, but the city government kept postponing the talks.

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