Wed, Sep 25, 2013 - Page 5 News List

New building may put an end to the Taipei 101 New Year’s Eve fireworks

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The dazzling fireworks show at Taipei 101 has been the climax of New Year’s Eve countdown parties in Taipei since the skyscraper was completed in 2004, but the tradition may become history after a 272m-tall building nearby is completed in 2015.

Media reports say the new building is to be built on a 5,357 ping (17,709m2) plot of land just 60m from the 509m-high Taipei 101 and will have 45 floors, making it the second-tallest building in the city.

The plot of land, which now houses the Taipei World Trade Center’s Hall 2, was leased by the Taipei City Government to Nan Shan Life Insurance Co for 50 years for a royalty of NT$26.8 billion (US$894 million) in a contract that was inked last year.

According to Taipei 101 spokesman Michael Liu (劉家豪), the safety distance for fireworks displays is 100m and although the new building will not be situated right next to Taipei 101, it will be just 60m away.

“The new skyscraper’s close proximity to Taipei 101 poses a problem to the design of the building’s countdown fireworks show. Because the vertical safety distance for fireworks displays is 150m, setting off fireworks from the 89th floor could be a problem,” Liu said.

However, as construction is still in the preparatory phase, this year’s fireworks show is unlikely to be affected, Liu said, adding that Taipei 101 officials would meet with the insurance corporation and the Taipei City Government soon to discuss possible solutions to the problem.

In response, Nan Shan said its project was being carried out in accordance with city regulations and that the planned building’s surroundings had been factored into its design.

“The company hopes that the new building can bring about mutual prosperity with businesses in Xinyi District (信義) and provide a boost to the local economy,” Nan Shan said.

Taipei 101’s fireworks shows led to Taipei being selected by CNN as one of the top 10 destinations in the world in which to welcome a new year.

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