Groundbreaking has begun for a new commercial complex in Taipei that will house a museum and a hotel. The project is located in Zhongzheng District, at the site of the old Taipei City Council building. After the building was demolished in 2016, the city government tried to auction off development rights to the site. It failed five times, before finally securing a buyer. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday and announced that construction on the Taipei Twin Towers project will also start this year. He said the projects would turn the city''s west side into the "Manhattan of Taipei."

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the old Taipei City Council building. He said he hoped the project would create a new landmark, a new gateway to west Taipei.

Ko Wen-je

Taipei mayor

There are several major construction projects right now. One is at the old city council. Construction work on the Taipei Twin Towers will likely begin this year, because most of it’s already sorted – only the E1 and E2 investment cases remain. There is also the post office project. There’s a BOT case behind that. After that there’s the Xining public housing project, which has been finalized. In the future it will look a lot like Manhattan, with all the high-rise buildings in the skyline.

The old council building was built at the intersection of Zhongxiao East Road and Zhongshan North Road, where an examination hall once stood. When the city council relocated to Xinyi, its former building fell into disuse and was demolished in 2016. The city tried to auction off development rights to the land, but the process went through twists and turns, two mayors, and five failed auctions. The city had to cut its reserve price from NT$6 billion to NT$2.87 billion before securing a developer.

Ko Wen-je

Taipei mayor

Once the project is completed, 40% of the floor space will be used for cultural tourism. In particular, 20% of that space will be a Taipei City museum. The museum will showcase Taipei’s history and vision for the future.

This development project is expected to attract private investment of about NT$13.6 billion. There will be a 20-story commercial building, and another building with a museum dedicated to the capital city and its history.