Thu, Dec 18, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Sky bridge delay worries Syntrend mall neighbors

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Controversy over the Syntrend Creative Park in Taipei continued yesterday as construction was announced for a sky bridge linking the building with Guanghua Digital Plaza (光華數位新天地).

Sponsored by the Taipei City Government and constructed as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the park building has cost an estimated NT$3.8 billion (US$ 121.33 million) and contains about 6.61 hectares of floor space.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has promised that the project would transform the surrounding electronics district into a “shopping heaven,” which could surpass Tokyo’s Akihabara district.

When the building was completed several months ago with no signs of the sky bridge mandated in city-approved plans, it drew criticism from Guanghua Digital Plaza shopkeepers.

“Because they have six times the area and parking spaces we have, customers will enter their building first,” said Lo Chu-hsien (羅鉅憲) president of the Guanghua Market’s self-government association, adding that without a sky bridge, the new mall would suck business away from Guanghua.

“This sky bridge represents a future in which both Guanghua and Syntrend will grow and flourish together,” Hau said, adding that the bridge represents the friendship and communication of the neighboring malls.

Syntrend Creative Park Co assistant general manager Chia Wu (吳世家) said the previous controversy was the result of poor communication with Guanghua shopkeepers, adding that her firm — the building’s operator — had always intended to construct the sky bridge mandated in its contract with the city.

Lo remained skeptical of Syntrend’s intentions.

“They should be required to completely finish the sky bridge before being allowed to operate,” he said.

The sky bridge is scheduled to be completed in July next year, several months after Syntrend Creative Park’s planned March opening date, announced yesterday.

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