Thu, Aug 17, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Work to begin at Mitsui development

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Construction of Mitsui Outlet Park at Taichung Port is to begin on Monday next week after the project passed environmental and traffic impact reviews, Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC) said on Tuesday.

Taichung Port chief secretary Cheng Shu-huei (鄭淑惠) said that Tokyo-based Mitsui Group signed a contract with the corporation in September last year to build the park.

Since then, Mitsui has completed assessments for impacts that the construction might have on the city’s environment and traffic, which have all been approved by the government.

The outlet is to be built on an 18 hectare plot of land, Cheng said.

Mitsui plans to invest NT$2 billion to NT$2.5 billion (US$65.9 million to US$82.3 million) in the initial stages, she said, adding that it hopes 160 businesses will open stores in the first phase of the park.

These businesses would include luxury brands, restaurants and entertainment facilities, Cheng said.

The park is scheduled to open at the end of next year, she said.

Potential customers at the park would be passengers disembarking from cross-strait ferries, as well as people from Miaoli and Changhua counties, Cheng said.

The Taichung City Government plans to make the park part of the tourist attractions in its coastal tourism corridor, which also includes the Gaomei Wetlands (高美溼地) and Wuqi Fishing Port (梧棲漁港), both in Cingshuei District (清水).

Travelers arriving at Taichung Port are mainly cross-strait ferry passengers, Cheng said.

The Hauxiahao ferry operates between Taichung and Pintang in China’s Fujian Province, while the Cosco Star carries people between Taichung and Xiamen in Fujian Province.

The Hauxiahao offers direct services three times per week, while the Cosco Star sails once per week.

It is about 88 nautical miles (163km) from Taichung to Pintang and about 136 nautical miles from Taichung to Xiamen.

Cheng said 305 people arrived on the Cosco Star last week, with most expected to stay in Taiwan to attend the Taipei Universiade.

The number of passengers arriving on cross-strait ferries reached 25,346 for the year to last month, an increase of 29.38 percent from the same period last year.

The Taichung Bureau of Economic Development said Mitsui Outlet Park could generate 1,500 jobs and NT$15 billion in annual revenue after it opens.

The park is 22km from the city center and 9km from Taichung International Airport, which serves domestic and international travelers, the bureau said.

Mitsui has a similar park in Taoyuan’s Linkou District (林口), where revenue last year totaled NT$6.6 billion.

Mitsui also has plans with Taiwan Life Insurance Co to build a shopping center called LaLaport in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), which is scheduled to open in 2021.

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