Jurong West Hawker Centre to close temporarily as NEA seeks new operator

Jurong West Hawker Centre to close temporarily as NEA seeks new operator

The current contract with a Koufu subsidiary will not be renewed after it ends on Aug 6.

Jurong West Hawker Centre will be closed for at least 10 months for potential renovation work, as the National Environment Agency (NEA) seeks a new operator. Tan Si Hui reports.

SINGAPORE: Jurong West Hawker Centre will be closed for at least 10 months for potential renovation work, as the National Environment Agency (NEA) seeks a new operator.

Current operator Hawker Management, a socially-conscious enterprise under Koufu, will not have its three-year contract with NEA renewed after it ends on Aug 6.

In a media release on Tuesday (May 5), NEA said it will conduct a request for proposal to seek new ideas from operators to improve the two-storey hawker centre and market. 

"As part of the RFP (request for proposal), NEA will conduct public consultations to gather ideas and suggestions from the community, work with stakeholders and potentially conduct renovation works to enhance the centre’s layout," said the agency.

"It is thus estimated that JWHC (Jurong West Hawker Centre) will be closed temporarily after the exit of Hawker Management until it reopens sometime in the second half of 2021."

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Commenting on the impending expiry of its contract, Hawker Management said its "ideal performance standards" were not met. 

Following HM's (Hawker Management) appointment as the operator of JWHC in 2017, HM had seen to be putting in the necessary resources to bring vibrancy to Jurong West Hawker Centre and support the local hawker trade," said the company in a media release.

"Despite HM’s efforts, the results did not meet our ideal performance standards.

"Koufu, as a public listed company, has an obligation to safeguard our shareholders’ interests, therefore we have made the difficult decision to exit upon expiry of the contract in August 2020 to focus efforts on other aspects of our business."

Hawker Management said it remains committed to managing the hawker centre until the end of the contract term, adding that it will provide rental waivers for stallholders from June until the end of their tenancy.

It will also offer a S$1,000 relocation fee to eligible stallholders.

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During the transition phase, NEA and Hawker Management said they will help stallholders relocate to available stalls at existing hawker centres and markets managed by NEA, or to coffee shops and food courts run by Koufu.

Existing stallholders will be offered to return to Jurong West Hawker Centre when it is ready, said NEA.

"For stallholders who choose to exit the trade and take on another job, or who may require financial assistance, NEA will work closely with relevant agencies to assist them," the agency added.

Source: CNA/lk(gs)

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