SINGAPORE: Tanjong Katong Complex will be closed for major upgrading from the second half of 2023, with plans to increase its floor area and build a rooftop food and beverage space.
“There are also plans to provide more spaces for placemaking activities and community programmes to attract footfall to Tanjong Katong Complex, while preserving its tradition as a place for trade with Malay cultural heritage value,” the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) said on Wednesday (Dec 8).
The rejuvenation plans are in line with the vision to turn Geylang Serai into a “distinctive cultural precinct”, as announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his 2018 National Day Rally speech.
Built in 1984, Tanjong Katong Complex was the Housing Board’s first air-conditioned shopping complex and was once home to a 24-hour Japanese supermarket called Yokoso.
Since the closure of the old Geylang Serai market in 2006, the building has become known as a place that serves the Malay community, particularly around Hari Raya.
SLA said that the time is right for the building to be given an update.
“Tanjong Katong Complex has not undergone any major upgrading works since it was built, and its current mechanical and electrical systems are old and in urgent need of replacement,” the agency said.
“It is timely for the 37-year-old building to be rejuvenated and given a new lease of life, to complement the new developments in the surrounding area.”
"SPECIAL AND UNIQUE PLACE"
Iconic features of the building, such as its slanted columns facing Tanjong Katong Road, will be retained.
SLA said it took into consideration feedback obtained during an engagement exercise which took place from October 2019 to January 2020.
“The feedback included suggestions to retain the building, given the community’s affinity to Tanjong Katong Complex and its heritage value,” SLA said.
“Their suggestions included refreshing Tanjong Katong Complex’s facade to complement newer developments in the vicinity and introducing new uses that would add buzz to the mall and enliven the place.”
SLA chief executive Colin Low said that the authority recognises Tanjong Katong Complex’s “special and unique place in Singapore”.
“The rejuvenated Tanjong Katong Complex will add vibrancy to the area and make the Geylang Serai precinct a distinctive cultural belt for the community and for all Singaporeans,” he added.
“Residents and the community can look forward to a rejuvenated development with more retail, F&B choices and improved facilities and services.”
The updated facade will “soften the current look and feel” of the building, letting in more daylight and increasing the visibility of its interior, SLA said.
“Additional space will be created within the building, and together with a redesign of the internal layout, there will be more open spaces for community and placemaking activities,” it said.
“The completed rejuvenation will transform Tanjong Katong Complex into a contemporary building with better connectivity to neighbouring developments.”
A new entrance will be created on the north side of the building, allowing shoppers to enter from Sims Avenue and Paya Lebar MRT station. This will be linked to an existing entrance on the south side by a thoroughfare.
After the unveiling of redevelopment plans for Geylang Serai in 2011, the Government announced that the rental period for tenants at Tanjong Katong Complex would be extended for a decade until the end of December 2022.
In view of difficulties faced by tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, SLA said it has granted a six-month extension of tenancy to Jun 30, 2023.
This will allow the building’s 106 existing tenants to benefit from sales during the Hari Raya period in April 2023, SLA said.
“This advance notice of 1.5 years will also provide existing tenants time to make any relocation plans,” it added.
“As the upgrading works are slated to commence in the second half of 2023, there will be no further extension of the tenancy beyond Jun 30, 2023.”
Tenants have been encouraged to find alternative locations and firm up their business continuity plans, SLA said, adding that it will work with them to assist with transition plans.