Highwealth Construction Corp (興富發) yesterday bought a plot of land in central Taichung for NT$8.38 billion (US$277.93 million) at an auction, which was 15.76 percent higher than the asking price, despite uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in China, auction organizer Cushman & Wakefield Taiwan (戴德梁行) said.
The Taipei-based developer was seeking to build land stock and outbid the only other bidder in the auction.
The 2,593 ping (8,556.9m2) plot near the Top City (台中大遠百) department store is the site of a former factory owned by Tah Hsin Industrial Co (達新工業), a local maker of waterproof garments and shoes, which had set the floor price at NT$7.24 billion.
“The outbreak is bound to have negative impact on the property market in the short run, but the company cannot sit idle until after the virus is contained,” Highwealth spokesman Liao Chao-hsiung (廖昭雄) said.
It has to take action when opportunity arises, Liao said.
Highwealth has had several construction projects in Taichung and knows the plot’s value, he said.
The developer aims to turn the plot into a mixed-use complex, which would not be put on the market for sale until next year or later, Liao said, adding that design plans might change depending on market direction and customer needs.
Cushman & Wakefield Taiwan manager Eagle Lai (賴一毅) said that the auction result should inject badly needed confidence into the local property market, as the outbreak chills business activity.
The other bidder was the investment arm of a major builder from northern Taiwan, Lai said, declining to elaborate.
The plot might have a floor area ratio of 650 percent, he said.
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