A foreign consortium led by a Hong Kong media tycoon won the “Taipei Twin Towers” development project, the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems announced yesterday after five unsuccessful attempts to find a developer.
The consortium of Hong Kong-based Nan Hai Development Ltd (南海發展) and Malaysian property developer Malton Berhad was the most favored applicant for the project next to Taipei Railway Station, the department said, adding that the two sides are to ink a contract in March.
The team offered more generous terms that would allow landlords to keep more floor space and charge higher rents when construction of the mixed-use complex is completed in 2025, it said.
Photo courtesy of the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems
It is the sixth auction attempt for the project, which has been embroiled in bribery scandals for the past 20 years.
The consortium is competing against a local group comprised of computer maker Clevo Co (藍天電腦) and affiliate property developer Hongwell Group (宏匯集團).
The local team could take over if Nan Hai pulls out, the department said.
Nan Hai is to spend NT$60 billion (US$1.95 billion) on the project that would “wow” the region after its completion, chairman Yu Pun-hoi (于品海) told a news conference in Taipei earlier this month.
The team aims to develop two towers — one 65 stories tall and the other 53 stories tall — that would house retail stores on the lower floors, offices on the middle floors and hotel rooms on the upper floors, said Yu, who also chairs Nan Hai Corp (南海控股).
Nan Hai Holding Co (南海金控) is a listed firm in Hong Kong primarily engaged with businesses in China, Hong Kong, North America, Europe and Australia in the culture and media sectors, property development and IT application services.
“Taipei has not seen any eye-catching buildings for a while — not since the construction of Taipei 101 — and we aim to rescue the city from the architectural doldrums with the Taipei City One project,” Yu said.
The project is a real-estate development opportunity and a venue for launching an “online-offline merger” business model in Taiwan — persuading consumers within a physical business to make digital engagement purchases, Yu said.
The complex would add more than 60,000 ping (198,347m2) of commercial space to the area, Yu said, adding that he is not worried about a supply glut, because there are no competitors of a similar scale in the vicinity.
Real-estate prices in Taipei are relatively affordable, compared with that in other international Asian cities, suggesting ample room to improve on the team’s investment, he said.
The Clevo-Hongwell team told local media it would continue to invest in Taiwan, despite losing the contract.
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