The Taipei City Government yesterday said it would terminate a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract to construct the Kuang Tzu Senior Citizens’ Home with the contractor, a move that adds uncertainty to the major development project, which was initially scheduled for launch in 2015.
The project, slated to occupy about 6.5 hectares in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義), is one of the largest BOT projects ever initiated by the city government. A large part of the area is to be used for social welfare facilities, including apartments for senior citizens and nursing centers for the elderly and disabled.
The city government signed the BOT contract with Bo De Development Co in 1999 and gave the land to the company for the project. The company invested NT$9.1 billion (US$314 million) in the project and was required to obtain a construction contract by June.
However, the company failed to meet requirements because tree-protection plans, urban design and environmental impact assessment reports have yet to be approved by city committees.
Taipei City’s Department of Social Welfare Affairs Commissioner Chiang Yi-wen (江綺雯) said the city government terminated the contract because the contractor had failed to obtain the construction contract according to the schedule, while adding that the plan to complete the project, which aims to promote social welfare, remained unchanged.
“The contractor’s failure to obtain the construction contract caused serious delays in our plan to promote social welfare policy via the project,” she told Taipei City Hall.
In a written statement, the company said it had gone to a lot of effort to obtain the construction contract and blamed the delays on negligence at the city government, adding that city officials did not ask the company to present a tree-protection plan or urban design and environmental impact assessment reports until March.
The company said it would take legal action against the city government over the matter.
Taipei City’s Law and Regulation Commission Commissioner Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元) said the city government would retrieve the land through legal means before proceeding with the project.