Makeover for 12-year-old Chinatown Street Market to draw crowds and improve fire safety

Street stalls in Chinatown Street Market.
Street stalls in Chinatown Street Market. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Chinatown Street Market will be getting a major makeover to draw new crowds and improve fire safety.

Refurbishment works for the 159 stalls along Pagoda, Sago, Smith and Trengganu Streets will begin in October this year and are expected to end by June 2018.

The works will be rolled out in phases to "minimise disruption to shophouse businesses and to ensure that most of the Chinatown Street Market remains open for visitors' enjoyment", according to the Chinatown Business Association.

It will also factor in Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn festivities to make sure as many businesses can go on as usual.

New features include sprinklers, fire-rated shutters and improved roof insulation. Shoppers can also expect new designs for stalls in the makeover. The association, which is overseeing the renovations, will share the final designs after it completes talks between landlords and tenants.

Rent will also be reviewed to take into account market rates.

The Chinatown Street Market, which has become a major tourist attraction, was launched in 2004 to offer visitors a more authentic experience by re-creating the street hawking scene of the past. Stalls, lined along shophouses and streets, sell items such as fashion accessories, souvenirs, and food and beverages.