Sat, Sep 24, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan Tobacco to turn factory into creative park

‘WIN-WIN’ STRATEGY:Turning the site of a 97-year-old factory in Taipei into a park would cut the firm’s losses and allow the city to benefit from its 40.5 percent share

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp chairman Wu Jung-hui yesterday speaks in Taipei about the company’s plan to turn its factory in Taipei into a creative park.

Photo: Kuo Chia-an, Taipei Times

State-owned Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTL, 台灣菸酒) yesterday announced plans to turn its factory in downtown Taipei into a creative park, allowing it to build new headquarters and boost revenues for both the city and central governments.

The 97-year-old factory sits on a 5.2-hectare plot on Bade Road Sec 2, part of which was declared a historic site by the city government in June 2000.

The renewal project would allow TTL to revitalize idle assets and stop losses estimated at more than NT$100 million (US$3.19 million) a year, newly installed TTL chairman Wu Jung-hui (吳容輝) said.

TTL first proposed the revitalization project in early 2014, but has gained no headway in the past two years.

Wu, who has a master’s degree in business administration, approached the matter with more vigor and entrepreneurship by offering the city more favorable terms to facilitate the review, which could take up to three years.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) promised to keep the reassessment to within a year, after Wu offered to help sponsor the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade by designing a beer product for the event.

Under the renewal project, the city government would be allotted 40.5 percent of the planned park and keep revenues generated from the share. The city government returned the offer by pledging to allow TTL to run all facilities.

The national treasury should also benefit from the joint development venture, as TTL contributes nearly NT$100 million in tax revenues a year, a Ministry of Finance official said.

Besides the new TTL headquarters, the creative park will retain the company’s original production lines, allowing tourists to see the beer-manufacturing process first hand, Wu said.

In addition, the park will have office space, retail shops and performance areas, as well as lodging facilities in the future, he said.

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