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Reimagining Singapore’s Chinatown

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SINGAPORE, 6 December 2023: Singapore’s iconic Smith Street, located in the Chinatown conservation area, is tagged for a massive remake project to rejuvenate its terraced shophouses and an adjacent shopping mall.

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) jointly launched a collective tender last week to appoint a master tenant to work with local stakeholders such as the Chinatown precinct stakeholders and the Chinese Community Liaison Group. It calls for a master plan to restore the area and drive greater footfall through community programmes while preserving its cultural and architectural heritage.

Photo credit: Singapore Land Authority.

The Chinatown conservation area tells the story of Singapore’s Chinese heritage and is a signature destination where both international visitors and locals can experience local culture through traditional festivals and celebrations, performances, dining and heritage offerings. 

In its early days, Smith Street was known as hei yuen kai (Cantonese for Theatre Street) due to its reputation for Chinese Opera, attracting packed audiences and patrons. The rejuvenation project presents an opportunity to rekindle that vibrancy by launching regular community programming at the adjacent pedestrian mall. Community and grassroots organisations will also be able to continue celebrating festive occasions along the street.

Tenderers are required to conceptualise the long-term planning of the space with clear financial and visitorship projections in support of the proposed business plan. The successful tenderer will be offered an upfront tenure of five years, renewable for a second term of four years. The tender opened for 12 weeks on 30 November 2023. 

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