SINGAPORE — Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre will be closed from the second half of 2024 and demolished to make way for an integrated development set to be ready by 2029.
In the meantime, some 92 stallholders are to be relocated to an interim hawker centre and market, the People’s Association (PA) said in response to TODAY’s queries on Thursday (Nov 9).
PA said that it is leading a multi-agency effort to plan and design the new five-storey Bukit Timah Integrated Development.
It will jointly house an expanded Bukit Timah Community Club, an enhanced market cum food centre called BT Market, Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School’s new indoor sports hall as well as other community amenities.
PA said that the new complex will be located off the junction of Jalan Jurong Kechil and Upper Bukit Timah Road, near Beauty World MRT station. This includes the site of the current Bukit Timah Food Centre and Market.
STALLHOLDERS TO BE RELOCATED
In its statement, PA said that on March 13 this year, a briefing was conducted for hawkers of the existing food centre to update them on a delay in completing the interim centre.
The interim hawker centre and market will have 100 stalls and 92 stallholders had signed up for a slot there.
Stallholders were told at the briefing that the estimated timeframe for them to vacate the current site and move to the interim facility had been revised to the second half of 2024.
No more precise date in the second half of 2024 was given.
“A letter to the stallholders, following the meeting was also sent on March 20,” PA said.
It added that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had taken extra time to secure funding and finalise the design of the new mixed-use complex, as specifications such as space norms needed to be reviewed.
As a result, its new projected completion date is estimated to be in the second half of 2029, due to site conditions and technical complexities. PA did not state what was the original expected completion date.
The interim facility is set to commence operations “sometime in the second half of 2024” and run until the second half of 2029 when the new complex is expected to be completed and operational, said PA, adding that this could change.
HELP TO ENSURE HAWKERS KEEP OPERATING
During the briefing on March 13, some hawkers had expressed concern that the delay in the project timeframe would cause problems for the interim market operator appointed by the Market Association, and affect its timely delivery.
PA said that it had worked with other agencies to “help alleviate the cost of the interim facility from escalating due to the delay” so that the project remains viable.
“The second and third floors of the (interim facility) will house public sector facilities and would not affect the hawkers’ future operations that will be located on the ground floor,” said PA.
It added that the Bukit Timah grassroots organisations were aware of the hawkers’ concerns and have assisted the hawkers as best as they could.