A new thoroughfare connecting the Taipei City Hall MRT station and Breeze Center department store’s Xinyi branch would add NT$8.09 million (US$250,526) to the city government’s annual revenue, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) said yesterday.
As the city government owns the plot of land where the thoroughfare and the new Exit 3 is located, Cathay Financial Holding Co, which owns the building, has agreed to pay an annual fee of NT$8.09 million from this year to 2019, TRTC Business Division director Chan Wen-tao (詹文滔) said.
Another land assessment will be conducted in 2019 and a new contract will be inked, Chan added.
The old Exit 3 has been cordoned off, awaiting demolition, while a new Exit 3 opened in October last year. The new exit is connected to the Cathay building called Cathay Landmark — of which six floors and two underground levels have been leased out to Breeze Center.
Chan said that Cathay Financial filed the request to create the thoroughfare in accordance with a bylaw governing the relocation and integration of the MRT system’s underground passages designated for commercial use.
He said the TRTC, in which the city government has a 73 percent stake, and relevant agencies approved the request because the old Exit 3 encroached on a sidewalk and tearing it down would improve the view in the area.
Chan said Cathay Financial paid for all the work in connection with the thoroughfare, including the installation of three new escalators, the construction of a new exit and the demolition of the old one, which is scheduled to be completed in August.
The old exit has been in use since 1999 after the MRT system’s Bannan line was launched.
Cathay yesterday declined to reveal the cost of the project, saying that the information is classified because of company policy.
Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems North District Project Office Director Chen Yao-wei (陳耀維) said the old exit and escalators cost about NT$70 million.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said during a quarterly meeting last week to review the city’s transportation policies that the demolition was originally scheduled to be completed in November, but he asked that it be pushed forward because the sealed-off area obstructs pedestrian traffic.
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