Wed, Oct 24, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Clevo head unveils Twin Towers plan

ZERO CHINESE CAPITAL:Kent Hsu said his team would work with the US architecture firm that designed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, adding that he has already secured loans

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Contract computer maker Clevo Co (藍天電腦) and its affiliate Hongwell Group (宏匯集團) yesterday shed light on their plans for a multibillion-dollar development project near Taipei Railway Station.

The consortium is one of two teams that submitted a tender for the Taipei Twin Towers development project, whose winner is to be announced by the city government in December.

“We are 100 percent Taiwanese investors without a penny of Chinese capital,” Clevo chairman and the consortium’s head Kent Hsu (許坤泰) told a media briefing in Taipei.

Hsu, who owns Chicony Electronics Co (群光電子) and the China-based Buynow (百腦匯) retail chain, said he and his family have been at the helm of Hongwell Group since its establishment in 1997.

Group president KT Huang (黃坤泰) said Hsu made a fortune through his stakes in Clevo and Chicony, both listed companies, as well as business ventures in China.

Commercial properties under Hongwell’s management amount to 1.03 million ping (3.4 million square meters), or equal to 10 Taipei 101s combined, Hsu said.

The group has experience in joint ventures with the government, as it is responsible for three such projects in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) and New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊).

Hongwell said it would work with US architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), to build the complex.

SOM is known for designing iconic buildings, with its portfolio including the One World Trade Center in New York and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Hongwell said.

Hsu said that 16 local lenders have agreed to provide loans for 60 percent of the NT$60 billion (US$1.94 billion) project, if he is awarded the contract, while his companies would provide the remaining 40 percent.

“I do not have a profit target in mind as long as the investment generates higher rental incomes than time deposits,” Hsu said, adding that he has made property investments along railways and MRT systems.

TRADE DISPUTE

The ongoing trade dispute between the US and China would not affect his property investment decisions, since the project would take seven years to complete, he said.

Hsu’s consortium is competing against a team consisting of Hong Kong’s Nan Hai Corp (南海控股) and Malaysian property developer Pavilion Group (柏威年集團).

The Nan Hai-Pavilion team earlier this month told local Chinese-language media that there is no Chinese capital in the companies.

The mixed-use complex is to house office and retail space, as well as hotel rooms.

The city government had failed to find bidders for the project, which has been at the center of a series of bribery scandals over the past 20 years.

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