A local consortium is to take over development of the Twin Towers project near Taipei Railway Station after the original winner of the contract was removed due to national security concerns, the Taipei City Government said yesterday.
The local group — consisting of contract computer maker Clevo Co (藍天電腦) and its property development affiliate Hongwell Group (宏匯集團) — would take over the contract after meeting certain requirements, including submitting NT$1.9 billion (US$62.07 million), it said.
The consortium lost a contest in December last year to another consortium led by Hong Kong-based Nan Hai Development Ltd (南海發展) and Malaysian property developer Malton Berhad.
However, the Investment Commission in July revoked the approval, citing national security concerns.
Nan Hai Development is a unit of Nan Hai Holding Co (南海金控) that owns businesses in China, Hong Kong, North America, Europe and Australia in the culture and media sectors, property development and IT application services.
Nan Hai chairman Yu Pun-hoi (于品海) called the decision unfair and legally shaky, but failed in an attempt to appeal the decision in court.
The Taipei City Government said it would press ahead with the project after it had given Nan Hai sufficient time to submit its appeal.
The city government had previously been unsuccessful in its attempts to find developers for the project valued at NT$60 billion, which has been at the center of a series of bribery scandals over the past 20 years.
The local team welcomed the invitation, saying it has been ready since announcing its decision to enter the bidding last year.
Hongwell earlier said that it would work with US architecture and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP to build the complex.
The US firm is known for designing iconic buildings, with its portfolio including the One World Trade Center in New York and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Hongwell said.
Clevo chairman and head of the consortium Kent Hsu (許坤泰) said that 16 local lenders had agreed to provide loans for 60 percent of the construction costs and his own companies would provide the remaining 40 percent.
Hsu added that he has previously made several property investments in conjunction with railway lines and Mass Rapid Transit systems.
The group is responsible for three such projects in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) and New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊).
The Twin Towers complex would add more than 60,000 ping (198,347m2) of commercial space to the area and create thousands of job opportunities.
“We want to roll up our sleeves and start construction right away,” Hsu said in a statement.
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