Eslite denies its Dunhua outlet is facing closure

‘CULTURAL LANDMARK’::Cathay Life Insurance said that it has never owned the floors used by the 24-hour bookstore, after rumors it would replace it with a hotel

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Feb 03, 2016 - Page 3

Eslite Spectrum Corp (誠品生活), which runs one of the nation’s largest bookstore chains, yesterday denied that it would soon end operations of its 24-hour bookstore on Dunhua S Road in Taipei amid preparations for an urban planning project.

“We thank everyone for their concern for the bookstore. The lease for the bookstore expires in 2020. We will continue to operate based on the terms of the lease,” the company said in a statement issued yesterday afternoon.

Eslite’s Dunnan store attracts many tourists to the world’s first 24-hour bookstore.

The bookstore is the company’s first and began operating 24 hours in 1999.

The store was chosen by CNN as one of the world’s “coolest” stores and drew interest from other international news agencies.

The Eslite branch occupies the first and second floors of the Dunhua Financial Building (敦南金融大樓), as well as three underground floors.

Media reports said the floors have been purchased by the Lin Yuan Group (霖園集團), which the reports said wants to convert them for mixed-use commercial purposes through an urban planning project that is to include a five-star hotel.

This led to speculation that the bookstore might cease to exist.

Cathay Life Insurance (國泰人壽), a subsiduary of Lin Yuan Group, issued a statement saying that the company has never owned the floors used by the bookstore.

Cathay Life Insurance said it owns no titles in the Dunnan Financial Building, having sold ownership of the third to 10th floors of the building, as well as parking lots on the fourth and fifth underground floors.

Exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹) said the bookstore is a “cultural landmark of Taipei.”

He wrote on Facebook that he would forever condemn Cathay Life Insurance if it were to close the bookstore to make way for a five-star hotel.

Additional reporting by CNA