Jurong West Hawker Centre to reopen in Q3 2023 after two-year closure , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Jurong West Hawker Centre to reopen in Q3 2023 after two-year closure

Jurong West Hawker Centre is slated to reopen in the third quarter of this year, after more than two years of closure when its previous operator chose not to carry on due to low footfall and empty stalls.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Thursday that it has increased the number of cooked food stalls and seats at the hawker centre, after surveying more than 2,000 residents living in the Boon Lay, Nanyang and Pioneer area with the People’s Association.

There will be 39 cooked food stalls – up from 34 – as most survey respondents said they prefer such stalls to market stalls. NEA said there will be 580 seats, up from 479 previously.

About 55 per cent of the survey respondents had visited the hawker centre in Jurong West Street 61 at least once a month before it closed in August 2020.

The 14 market stalls in the centre will not be returning, as 95 per cent of respondents prefers to get their groceries from other markets or nearby supermarkets.

The hawker centre’s previous operator – Koufu Group subsidiary Hawker Management – did not renew its contract as the business did not fare well, with only about half of its stalls open since 2019. The complex opened in 2017.

On Thursday, NEA said the hawker centre will undergo a makeover. The escalators and staircases that are currently at the front of the centre will be relocated to free up space for stalls on the first storey. This will also improve visibility of the hawker centre, NEA said.

The carpark’s entry and exit points will be repositioned to allow for new cooked food stalls on the first storey, although this will reduce the carpark spaces to 49 from 72 previously.

The escalators and staircase at the hawker centre will be relocated to free up space, and the carpark entry and exit points will also be repositioned for more stalls on the first storey. PHOTO: NEA

JW 50 Hawker Heritage was appointed as the operator of the new centre on Thursday, said NEA, adding that its proposal was the most robust out of the three tenderers. The contract is worth $4.86 million.

“For instance, they proposed the second level of the centre to offer international cuisine, as well as festive food, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products. Patrons to the centre will be able to enjoy familiar hawker fare on the first level,” the agency said.

Its proposed average monthly rent for stallholders was also the lowest among all the proposals, NEA added. The Straits Times has asked NEA for the rental rates.

NEA said the operator’s parent company, Chang Cheng Mee Wah Food, has expertise and experience in managing food establishments such as coffee shops, which can help to attract tenants to Jurong West Hawker Centre. Last year, the group bought a coffee shop in Yishun for $40 million.

JW 50 Hawker Heritage has proposed a culinary innovation accelerator programme to help hawkers and people aspiring to be hawkers learn the necessary skills through subsidised training workshops, NEA said.

The programme also connects them to a network of food companies and mentors, as well as offer them “competitively priced” raw and intermediate food supplies.

NEA said there will be 580 seats, up from 479 previously, and the new Jurong West Hawker Centre. PHOTO: NEA

It also proposed another programme for aspiring hawkers to run their businesses at pre-fitted stalls with reduced rent for 12 months.

Three other operators – Canopy Hawkers Group, Fei Siong Food Management and Hawker Enterprise – had placed bids between $3.9 million and $5.18 million for the contract.

NEA will also offer former cooked food stallholders at the old centre to return. Before its closure, the agency had reached out to 18 stallholders to assist them to take up vacant stalls at other NEA-managed hawker centres and markets.