To see this in much larger size, go here.
UDN published an investment guide for foreigners in Taichung, in both Chinese and English. As you can see, all the projects listed are BOT projects, which are built by the private sector as a government concession and then transferred to the government after a stated period of time. It's hard for me to believe that any of these projects will make the promised returns -- for one thing Taichung already has more department store floor space per capita than any other city on the island, and yet the city government is proposing many projects that are shopping driven. Clearly these seem to be envisioning increases flows of/from Chinese tourists, and perhaps they are aimed at Chinese construction firms. Hmmm.....
Some of them appear to substantially misrepresent things: project 9 will be located next to the "historic old town areas" but as anyone who has been downtown can see, there is no historic old town area as such, just a few isolated older buildings without any specific identity along with a couple of preservation projects. Much of the old Japanese period architecture that might have given the area a unique flavor has been destroyed or left to rot (just another KMT success!). The "HSR Taichung Station" project calls for commercial development at the HSR station -- there is nothing there at present (it is in the middle of nowhere) and getting out there is a pain -- perhaps things will change after the metro reaches it. This appears to be another version of the original policy of the HSR to make money by developing the land around the stations, but they are so badly located that nothing has ever come of that in most cases.
I blogged on the BOT model in Taiwan a few years ago.
Speaking of business in the Chung, Dom sent me a link to his labor of love, a blog devoted to Taichung's eateries, mainly bakeries. Go thou and read!
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