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Does anybody know a good article or a research paper, not necessarily too long, it could very well be two paragraphs short, on how Taipei 101 impacted the economy of Taiwan, both directly and indirectly?

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INTERVIEW-Taipei 101 aims for full occupancy, breakeven

TAIPEI, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Taipei 101, until last month the world's tallest building, will reach full occupancy in two years and break even soon after that thanks to rising demand for prime office space in Taiwan, its operator said on Wednesday.

The gleaming, 508-metre (1,667-foot) tower has been losing money since its inauguration at the end of 2004 and reported a T$1.74 billion (US$53 million) net loss in 2006, data from the operator, Taipei Financial Center Corp., showed.

"We plan to rent out all our office space within two years and we hope to break even in two to three years," Diana Chen, the company's chairwoman, told Reuters in an interview in a spacious office in the skyscraper, which dominates Taiwan's capital.

Taipei 101 now has an occupancy rate of 75 percent, with high-profile tenants like financial company ING Group , accounting firm KPMG [KPMG.UL] and the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

"We will have a very important tenant coming in at the end of August. It's a U.S. bank," said 36-year-old Chen.

Taipei 101, overtaken as the world's tallest building in July by Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, is located in the city's prime Xinyi district.

High-grade office space in Taiwan has been in demand for years, although some U.S. companies thought twice about setting up shop in Taipei 101 after the Sept. 11 attacks.

In the second quarter, the average rental value for grade A office space in Taipei was T$2,320 (US$71) per ping (3.3 square metres) per month, or T$703 per square metre per month, up 4.0 percent from a year earlier, according to DTZ Research.

The vacancy rate of Taipei grade A office space dropped from 12.9 percent in the first quarter to 9.4 percent in the second quarter, partly due to more space being taken up in Taipei 101, DTZ said.

Chen said she expected demand to continue rising, although she declined to estimate how much rents would increase from the current average of T$3,200 per ping, or T$970 per square metre.


Taipei 101 may one day be packaged and sold in the form of a real estate investment trust (REIT), but only after it has maintained an occupancy rate of 90 percent or more for three years, Chen said.

"We're not thinking about it, at least in the next three years," she said.

REITs are gaining popularity in Taiwan as they offer investors relatively high returns in a low-interest-rate environment.

On its auguration, Taipei 101, which has offices, an observatory deck and a shopping mall sporting brands like Gucci and Prada, unseated Malaysia's Petronas Towers as the tallest building.

Designed after a bamboo stalk, a Chinese symbol representing strength and flexibility, it has eight vertical sections -- a lucky number in Chinese -- and an external wall of tinted glass.

Burj Dubai, a tower under construction by Emaar Properties in the United Arab Emirates' trade hub and due to be completed next year, became the tallest building in the world in July, measuring 512.1 metres.

But Chen, a prominent businesswoman known for her stylish dress, is unfazed and hopes Taipei 101 will in time become a globally recognised landmark, like the Empire State Building in New York.

"Did you know which was the tallest before us, or which one before them?" Chen said. "I'm not worried whether it's the tallest or not. We want our building to have character and a unique personality."

(Additional reporting by Ricci Chan)

If I could be anyone...
2,551 Posts
^^ I think because land there in general is not that expensive. If you look at Taipei's skyline (skyscrapers are usually motivated by high land prices) you'll see that T101 is 5 times taller than the buildings around it. If you build a building with so much usable space, in an area where prices are not that steep, then its not going to be astronimical.

Of course, I'm just hypothesizing.
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