Anyone who has driven through Älvkarleby on the E4 motorway, near Gävle in central Sweden, is bound to have noticed the Dragon Gate hotel: a tall, grey Chinese-style building looming over the roadside.
The Dragon Gate saga began in 2004, when Chinese billionaire Jingchun Li bought the former Hotel Älvkarlen with the aim of turning it into a hotspot “where east meets west”.
To date, only a restaurant, a museum and a souvenir shop have been opened to customers. The hotel never opened.
Throughout its 13-year history, Dragon Gate has run into problems with Swedish authorities on several occasions over building regulations and working conditions for staff. Not until December last year did the hotel receive its final permission from the local council to open the Chinese monument in its entirety.
On Monday, the hotel's Swedish management company Ibiat informed the local council in Älvkarleby that Dragon Gate was up for sale, reports Swedish Television's (SVT) local news in Gävleborg.
“We have decided now that we will sell the property, and thought we would inform the council before we start the sales process,” Ibiat CEO Kenny Li told SVT.
After 13 years of waiting for the building's completion, the mayor of Älvkarleby, Marie Larsson, was pleased with the announcement.
“Dragon Gate is unique, and is one the things that has put Älvkarleby on the map. Its sale will hopefully lead to the flourishing business activity we've been hoping for,” Larsson told SVT.
According to Kenny Li, the owner is putting the property up for sale due to his high age.
“He turned 70 this year, and wants to enjoy his life,” he said.
The property will be sold through the Skandiamäklarna estate agents. The price tag, however, is still unknown.
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