Go karts part of mix at new Taroko Park mall

A carousel and a go-kart racing track are attractions at the new Taroko Park shopping centre in Kaohsiung, in the south of Taiwan.

It is owned by Taipei-based developer Taroko Development, which aims to generate NT$5 billion (US$154.24 million) in sales in the first year.

Unlike its peers, the company says Taroko Park will gain 61 per cent of its revenue from recreation and dining attractions, with department store sales making up the rest. It aims to provide a fun-filled shopping experience with several sports and entertainment attractions, such as the carousel in the front plaza, and the go-kart track which is a miniature of Japan’s Suzuka circuit. The company believes it sets a precedent for Asia.

Taroko Development spent about NT$5.3 billion on the mall, which has attracted 220 international fashion and sportswear brands. There is also a shop selling official merchandise of the Lamigo Monkeys professional baseball team.

Developed as a joint build-operate-transfer project for Kaohsiung Rapid Transit and the Kaohsiung City Government, the shopping centre is near the Caoya Station, south of the city’s airport. Taroko Development’s lease with KRTC is 25 years, and is to be extended for another 10 years with the original landowner, the city government, with a guarantee of priority right of renewal for two more 10-year contracts, the company says.

An aim of the mall is to create job opportunities and attract tourists.

“Taroko Park’s entertainment and shopping offerings are expected to attract 12 million visitors annually,” says Taroko Development chairman Jeff Tsai. He says the mall is also expected to generate about 5000 jobs as well as boost metro system users by 6 million.

Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu made her way to the opening ceremony for the mall via the metro.
A subsidiary of Taroko Textile, Taroko Development has been determined to enter the shopping-centre industry since its establishment in 2011. It moved into retail last year when it took over the Mode Mall in Taichung from Fubon Life Insurance.

Taroko has also announced tentative plans to launch a shopping mall in Hsinchu county by the third quarter of next year.


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