Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday said it will proceed with the sale of its headquarters building and the adjoining Novel Hall Theater in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).
The company made the comment after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) urged Chinatrust Financial to preserve the 16-year-old Novel Hall, Taipei’s first privately owned theater, which Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) and many others have been petitioning to save.
“Chinatrust Financial plans to move its headquarters to a new building in Nangang District (南港) next year and has no choice but to sell its current headquarters and Novel Hall,” the company said in a statement.
Novel Hall was built by Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託銀行) and is run by a culture foundation linked to Chinatrust founder Jeffrey Koo Sr’s (辜濂松) family.
The bank spent NT$1.2 billion (US$40 million) building the theater and has put an extra NT$1 billion over the past 16 years to maintain its operation, the statement said
Chinatrust Financial said it is up to the buyers of the Xinyi building to decide whether to preserve the theater, but added that if the government could help Chinatrust Financial obtain a suitable piece of land, it would try to build a larger and better theater.
Several property investors are reportedly interested in the Chinatrust Financial building, which is valued at NT$25 billion.