Sat, Aug 31, 2019 - Page 3 News List

‘Love Ferris wheel’ project attracts 31 firms: Han

By Ko You-hao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, right, looks out over the city’s Love River yesterday during a meeting to attract builders for the “Love Ferris wheel” and a commercial complex.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times

A briefing ahead of the bidding for the “Love Ferris wheel” and shopping mall project yesterday attracted 31 companies, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said yesterday.

The project would cost more than NT$10 billion (US$318.4 million) and create 3,000 jobs, said Han, who promoted the plan during his mayoral campaign last year.

It is to be built by the Love River (愛河) and feature cars that double as “motel rooms,” he said at the time.

However, three of the four locations the city government yesterday offered as options to build the Ferris wheel are not along the Love River.

The four are Kaohsiung Harbor’s piers Nos. 4 to 8; piers Nos. 16 to 18; pier No. 21; and a rezoned area near Jiouru Road.

The briefing was attended by realty developers, department store chains and life insurance companies, among others, Han said.

“The city welcomes all investors,” said Han, who earlier said that investors from Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and Japan wanted to attend the event.

“We are all bound by love, be it love of family, friends or romantic love, and I hope to use the idea of love to redefine the Love River,” Han said.

He added that more details about the project would be released in December and the city would begin selecting bids in April.

Asked why the briefing was a “by invitation” only, Han said that it was just a briefing and the Economic Development Bureau would provide the 31 companies with more information at a later date.

Han said he did not understand why the project has been a target of criticism, calling for patience when dealing with large investment projects.

He added that he would “respect” a possible project name change if it is not built adjacent to the Love River as planned.

To expedite the development of the old harbor area, the city government and Taiwan International Ports Co Kaohsiung branch established a realty development company in 2017 to develop areas near piers Nos. 1 to 10, 16 to 18 and 21, which add up to about 32 hectares.

Taiwan Statebuilding Party Organization Department director Lee Yu-chen (李雨蓁) said that while Han kept his word about holding a meeting on the project, what he touted as an “international investment” event ended up as a short “briefing.”

Regulations regarding the size or dimension of the Ferris wheel cum motel rooms were not addressed at the briefing, Lee said.

The Han administration has not sought central government approval as it should, and its claims that the central government would “block” the move is a desperate move to find a way out, Lee said.

“Han has overpromised and it is telling,” Lee said.

Citing Article 25 of the Land Act (土地法), the party’s News Department deputy director Chang Po-yang (張博洋) said that local governments cannot grant leases of public land that exceed 10 years unless it has obtained approval from the Kaohsiung City Council.

This story has been viewed 2580 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top