The Tanjong Pagar Plaza market and food centre re-opened officially on Saturday morning with a bang, as a lion dance troupe leapt up on poles and a children's unicycling team performed.
It was opened by grassroots adviser and Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Indranee Rajah, who welcomed residents back and walked around both levels of the market and food centre.
The 37-year-old centre was renovated over 10 months under the National Environment Agency's Hawker Centres Upgrading Programme (HUP), and was open for business on January 1. Patrons got more seating, upgraded toilet facilities, improved ventilation, and a lift for the elderly and disabled.
Mr Hui Beng Hong, 63, the chairman of the Tanjong Pagar Plaza residents' committee, said care had to be taken during construction not to punch through to the MRT line that runs beneath the centre. Tanjong Pagar's market and food centre was upgraded at a cost of $4.85 million.
In total, 106 hawker centres have been upgraded since the $420-million HUP was launched in 2001. The upgrading involves the replacement of tables and stools, improvement to ventilation, upgrading of toilets and bin centres as well as other refurbishments.
In 2011, the Government announced that it planned to build 10 new hawker centres, the first new ones in more than two decades.
The first of these, in Bukit Panjang, will include a wet market. Construction began in 2012 and it is expected to be ready in 2015.