The Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony for an urban renewal project in Taipei, which is to transform the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) old marshalling yard in Nangang District (南港) into a multifunctional development zone.
The yard, which is between the TRA’s Songshan and Nangang stations, is close to the Songshan and Kunyang stations on the Taipei MRT’s Green and Blue lines, as well as the Taipei Music Center.
The project would include the TRA’s new headquarters, a shopping mall covering 89,256m2, four office buildings, a hotel, a movie theater, an apartment complex that can accommodate 500 households and public facilities, the agency said.
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Railways Administration
The project would be mainly executed by CMG International One Co and CMG International Two Co, which were founded by Cathay Life Insurance, Mercuries Life Insurance, Gloria Hotel Group, Cathay Real Estate and Cathay Hospitality Management.
TRA Director-General Chang Cheng-yuan (張政源) said at the ceremony that the contract for the project was signed in 2015, but the agency had to overcome many hurdles before construction could begin.
The project is the nation’s largest urban renewal scheme in terms of total area and development benefits, Chang said, adding that it was the first time the agency developed an urban renewal project by itself and worked with life insurance firms on it.
Construction costs are estimated to exceed NT$30 billion (US$1.05 billion), but the value of the project could top NT$100 billion once it is completed in 2026, he said.
Not only would the TRA receive a one-time payment for the project, it can also task the developer with managing the properties, which would generate revenue for the debt-ridden agency, he said.
The TRA has similar plans for the Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan railway stations as well, Chang said.
The Nangang project is in an area designated for the Taipei City Government’s east district gateway project, through which the capital plans to develop a hub for train systems, the software industry and trade shows, as well as biotechnology, and cultural and creative businesses, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.
“For investors, the project is definitely the right investment. The Nangang Railway Station would not only accommodate the TRA system, the Taipei MRT Blue Line and the high-speed rail system, but it would also be a starting point for a high-speed rail extension line to Yilan County and would be connected to the Taipei MRT Minsheng-Xizhi Line and a planned metro line to Keelung,” he said.
“This is a typical transportation-oriented development case,” he said.
In other news, Lin said that Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chi Wen-chung (祁文中) would serve as the TRA’s acting director-general after Chang retires on Friday.
The agency’s No. 1 task at the moment is to transport people home for the Lunar New Year holiday next month, Lin said.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan