SINGAPORE: A new hawker centre and wet market officially opened in Jurong West on Tuesday (Jan 1), replacing the previous market that was destroyed in a fire in 2016.
Called the Jurong Central Plaza, the S$6.2 million two-storey complex is about 30 per cent bigger than the previous market.
The building also has better ventilation and elderly friendly amenities such as an active ageing hub on the second floor, which is set to open in the second quarter of 2019.
The previous market and hawker centre were torn down after they were razed in a fire three years ago.
While some of the hawkers have set up shop elsewhere, others have returned to the new complex - which opened to the public last month.
Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC Ang Wei Neng said that rent per square metre for each store remained the same, but additional measures have been put in place to improve fire safety.
“Now it has wider aisles and there is more space. Store owners can arrange their wares, goods and food better," Mr Ang said.
"They are also being advised not to put flammable items, and there are also fire extinguishers and other fire safety measures with a new fire safety code."
After the fire in October 2016, a temporary wet market was constructed in six weeks and later opened in January 2017. The temporary site will soon be converted back into a basketball court.
“This project started off when we had a big problem, but this project shows that no problem is too big if we work together," Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in his opening address at the official opening of Jurong Central Plaza, which was attended by around 3,000 residents.