Thu, Oct 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taipei clarifies reason for scrapping relocation of Nanmen Market vendors

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday said it scrapped a plan to move vendors from the Nanmen Market (南門市場) building to a temporary site because the relocation did not suit the landowner’s plans for the plot, not because the site is too close to the presidential residence.

The Chinese-language Mirror Media weekly reported that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had been planning to rent a plot from the Bank of Taiwan for NT$250 million (US$8.21 million) for three years to relocate the vendors during the market’s reconstruction.

The plot is 250m away from the presidential residence, the report said.

It said the plan was blocked by Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森), who said the site is too close to the presidential residence, and might cause safety and transportation issues.

The market building houses about 270 vendors and is usually crowded with people visiting the famous food vendors in it.

However, the building was found to have been built from cheap, ocean-sourced sand, and the city government is planning to demolish and rebuild it to ensure public safety.

The new building would also be linked to the planned Wanda (萬大) MRT line.

The building must be demolished and rebuilt, Ko said, adding that the market’s administration has already moved out of the premises.

While the market is important for Taipei, the vendors cannot be forced to stop their operations during reconstruction, so the city government has been trying to find a temporary site for them, he said.

“The city government will assess each of the temporary site options. The site reported [by the weekly] is a distance away from the presidential residence,” Ko said, adding that he has visited the site and found no problems with it.

The Taipei Market Administration Office yesterday issued a press release saying that the option of renting the land had been ruled out because the bank plans to begin construction of an office building on the plot in 2022.

However, the market building is scheduled to be demolished in 2020 and reconstruction would be completed in 2024, which means there would be a period during which both sides will need to use the land, it said.

The office said it has evaluated 11 site options and so far the most likely candidate is in Huaguang Community (華光社區), but added that further negotiations are needed.

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