Taipei Dome contract is ‘ridiculous’: Ko Wen-je

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jan 18, 2015 - Page 1

The Taipei City Government’s current contract with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) for the construction of the Taipei Dome is “ridiculous,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

“I think this contract is simply ridiculous,” Ko said. “How could it be possible to draft a contract that we have absolutely no way of defending?”

He said that under the contract, the stadium complex should have been completed by June last year.

While the firm was granted a one-time extension by the previous municipal administration, it has been in violation of the contract since a deadline passed last month, he added.

However, under the contract, “nothing can be done” to punish the firm for project delays, Ko said.

The mayor’s remarks follow statements by Farglory last week that construction of the site could be delayed past the date of the 2017 Universiade if the city does not go through with a controversial tunnel linking the project with the National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.

The firm said that the tunnel is intended as an evacuation route, but the plan has sparked criticism from the mayor for its “strange design,” with the capital deciding on Friday last week to delay the tunnel’s opening while officials review other options.

Ko has previously described Farglory’s statements about further potential construction delays as “blackmail,” promising to relocate the Universiade’s opening and closing ceremonies to the Taipei Gymnasium if the Taipei Dome site is unavailable.

When asked how he intended to respond to Farglory’s contract violations, the mayor yesterday said that he ordered the municipality’s Department of Legal Affairs to thoroughly research the capital’s legal options, while stopping short of saying Taipei would consider terminating the firm’s contract.

Ko’s dispute with Farglory is the largest of several with firms over projects on municipal land, including the Taipei New Horizon (臺北文創) building in the Songshan Cultural Park and the MeHAS City (美河市) development project next to the Xiaobitan MRT station.

“If we feel contractual terms are unreasonable, we will raise our hands in protest,” he said yesterday.