Urban renewal project secures funding

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Urban renewal for the “Justice Country House” (正義國宅) can officially get underway after the signing of the syndicated loan to fund its reconstruction took place on Wednesday.

The rebuilding of the Judicial Country House, a development of traditional significance located in Daan District, is the brainchild of construction companies Longlin Construction Co., Ltd. and Shanyuan Group, who have been working on renewal plans for the past 20 years.

Representatives from lead arrangers of the loan, including the Land Bank of Taiwan (LBOT), Taishin International Bank, Mega International Commercial Bank, Hua Nan Bank and Cathay United Bank, were all present at the ceremonial signing on Wednesday to witness the historic moment.

NT$12.09 Billion LBOT Chairwoman Joanne Ling (凌忠嫄), Longlin Construction’s Chairman Yeh Sung-nien (葉松年), and Shanyuan Group’s Chairman Wang Kuang-hsiang (王光祥) signed copies of the contract which granted the construction companies a loan of NT$12.09 billion for the renewal project.   Ling elaborated on the details of the loan, saying that the loan was for a 5-year period with interest rates falling somewhere between 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent.

In total, 17 financial institutions joined in on the syndicated loan, with 6 lead banks and 11 participating banks.

Application for construction license is currently underway, and according to LBOT representatives, construction could begin as early as April if all went well.

The new Justice Country House, which will be composed of three buildings, will each have 7 basement levels and 31 above-ground floors that will serve both commercial and residential purposes.

LBOT representatives told The China Post that the preliminary setup would allot floors 1 to 4 for commercial use and floors 5 and above for residential use. It is estimated that construction of the justice country house could be completed by 2021. ‘Commitment to urban renewal’ Earlier in the morning, LBOT hosted a ceremony to pledge its “complete support to the government’s urban renewal projects.” Political Deputy Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) kicked off the ceremony with a speech that highlighted the importance of an alliance amongst the government, civil society and financial institutions for urban renewal projects.

Chairwoman Ling echoed a similar sentiment regarding cross-field collaboration, listing a number of factors, including renewal project transparency and legal reforms, that needed to take place to improve the process of urban renewal in the country.

Also present at the event was Deputy Minister of the Interior Hua Ching-chun (花敬群), who talked about the three urban renewal bills proposed by his ministry that will be discussed once the new legislative session starts in March. Hua expressed hopes that these bills would yield results in the upcoming months of March and April.