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Tender called for ideas to revamp Boat Quay area

SINGAPORE — Efforts are under way to refresh Boat Quay’s image and refurbish the outdoor areas along its waterfront promenade.

SINGAPORE — Efforts are under way to refresh Boat Quay’s image and refurbish the outdoor areas along its waterfront promenade.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) yesterday called a tender to study how Boat Quay’s outdoor dining areas could be improved and invited consultant teams of architects, quantity surveyors and engineers to undertake the project.

The tender invitation will close on April 3 and consultants appointed will be confirmed by mid-2014. Refurbishment plans will be finalised by September this year.

Although Boat Quay is lined with quaint shophouses and waterfront dining areas along the Singapore River, it has, over the years, garnered an unfortunate reputation of being a spot that sightseers can afford to miss.

The initiative to revitalise Boat Quay’s al fresco areas was led by Singapore River One (SRO), a non-profit entity that was formed to enhance the Singapore River precinct.

“If you look at Boat Quay itself right now, there is an opportunity for us to make use of the ambience,” Mr Wilson Tan, Chairman of Singapore River One, said. “There is an opportunity for us to make use of the river, so I believe that these are some things that we have not really gone out to leverage.”

SRO said it has been canvassing support from landlords and tenants in Boat Quay to support the ground-up initiative. If majority stakeholder support is won, refurbishment work, which will be funded by URA, will begin around April or May next year.

The response towards the project has been largely supportive, said SRO. Said Mr Arthur Chua, Chief Executive of Goldbell Corporation: “As a landlord, definitely the value of the shophouses would increase. Culturally, socially, business-wise, economically, everything should improve.”

Mr Jason Pope, Managing Director of Dallas Restaurant & Bar, said he sees the project as “a positive step forward in revitalising a tired area”, but hopes business will not be adversely impacted by the work needed.

“The biggest constraint will be the downtime on al fresco areas. How long are we going to be out of action to utilise those areas for dining? So it’s very important for myself and our fellow stakeholders to utilise internal space for dining,” he said.

URA Group Director of Planning and Design Fun Siew Leng said stakeholders are encouraged to come forward “to give us all their comments, air their concerns so that the consultant team can take those into consideration”.

SRO said the revamp of Boat Quay is likely to commence in phases to allow businesses to adjust. DYLAN LOH

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