Shin Kong Life wins in partial auction of Asia Plaza Building

By Crystal Hsu and Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporters

Tue, Oct 30, 2012 - Page 13

Shin Kong Life Insurance Co (新光人壽) yesterday won the bid for the first floor of the Asia Plaza Building (亞洲廣場大樓), opposite Taipei Railway Station, by offering NT$3.93 billion (NT$134.13 million) through a package auction, organizer DTZ said.

The bid includes 861 ping (2841.3m2) of retail space on the first floor of the Taipei building, which used to house the Asia Department Store (大亞百貨); 67.5 ping of land for roads in Taipei City; and 263 ping of land in Greater Kaohsiung, DTZ said.

The NT$3.93 billion offer by the life insurer, the flagship unit of Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控), is 59 percent higher than the asking price of NT$2.47 billion and translates into NT$4.54 million per ping for the retail space, DTZ said, adding that the floor is fully occupied.

The Asia Plaza Building is situated next to Shin Kong Tower (新光摩天大樓), in an area considered to be the most expensive in the country, with an assessed value of about NT$1.21 million per square meter, the Ministry of the Interior said at the end of last year.

The successful sale of the prime retail space came a day after a multinational consortium composed of Malaysian, Japanese and Taiwanese firms was given priority in building the large-scale Taipei Twin Towers (雙子星大樓) project nearby, after previously failing four times to secure a developer.

In a statement issued late on Sunday, the Taipei City Government announced that the consortium, led by IGB Corp BHD, a Malaysia-based company engaged in investment holding and property development, had beat two other bidders for the project, with a total investment of between NT$70 billion and NT$80 billion (US$2.39 billion to US$2.73 billion).

The consortium is expected to break ground for the construction of two high-rise buildings — one with 56 stories above ground and four basement levels, and the other with 76 stories above ground and four basement levels — on the site within one year.

The two buildings will be multifunctional, housing shopping malls, office spaces and international hotels, the city government said.

With a total floor space of 158,000 ping, which is equivalent to 1.5 times the size of the Taipei 101 building, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said he expected the Taipei Twin Towers project to create 23,000 job opportunities, with an annual economic benefit of NT$30 billion, according to the statement.

When it is completed in 2017, the twin towers will serve as the main hub for the Taoyuan airport MRT line to Taipei and five other railway and MRT lines in the capital.

Under the terms of the project, the Taipei City government will not be responsible for any capital expenditure over the project, but will benefit from its 55 percent property ownership once the project is completed.