US de-facto embassy buys land in Taipei as staff grows
New developments and plans for a tower to accommodate staff in the Taiwanese capital are seen as sign of closer ties
Washington’s de-facto embassy, The American Institute in Taiwan, has been busy expanding its presence in Taipei.
Earlier this year it inaugurated a brand-new, standalone office complex in the capital city, with state-of-the-art design and equipment able to meet demand and a growing staff for many decades to come, according to a press release from the AIT.
The new compound was the first facility purpose-built by a foreign representative office on the island.
The AIT announced on Thursday that it had inked a deal to buy another prime plot in Taipei to build a residential complex to house its staff, saying the decision reflects the America’s strong long-term commitment to Taiwan.
“On Nov. 28, 2018, AIT finalized a conditional purchase agreement with a local developer for the construction of a new residential tower in Taipei’s Tianmu district as well as the purchase of the underlying land,” AIT spokesperson Jesse Curtis said in an e-mail to the island’s media.
“When completed, AIT plans to use the residential tower as housing for AIT staff and their families,” Curtis said, confirming a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times about the deal.
The 1,000-square-meter plot and construction of the building could cost NT$1.16 billion (US$37.6 million), according to a local developer.
The AIT currently rents condos in Taipei and Kaohsiung to house its employees, whose total headcount is estimated at 450.
A spokesman with the Presidential Office welcomed the purchase, saying that it could symbolize the progress of Taiwan-US ties over the past two years.