SINGAPORE – Residents in the new Bidadari housing estate will have more food options soon, with the Woodleigh Village Hawker Centre slated to open in the second half of 2023.
Located in Block 202C Woodleigh Link, near Woodleigh MRT station, it will have 39 food stalls and more than 700 seats.
Socially conscious enterprises are invited to submit bids for the management of the hawker centre, according to a tender published by the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Dec 16.
They can be social enterprises or cooperative societies.
With limited options in the area for now, residents The Straits Times spoke to are looking forward to the hawker centre.
Ms Amanda Chia, 37, said the coffee shops in the area are small and offer limited options.
There are currently two coffee shops in the new housing estate.
When fully developed, Bidadari is expected to have about 10,000 residential units.
“My helper eats halal food, so she has limited options here,” added Ms Chia, who works in the healthcare industry.
Future residents such as Ms Annie Loh, 52, who will be moving into the area in March, hope that the hawker centre will offer cheaper meals.
Noting that the price of food is rising, even in hawker centres elsewhere, Ms Loh, who works in the logistics industry, said: “It will be an everyday affair, so the price range definitely matters.”
Business development manager Ryan Lim, 36, who has been living in the area since 2020, said: “If I want fancier meals, there are a lot of malls nearby. But for hawker food, I think at the end of the day, it’s always the price.”
The Woodleigh Village Hawker Centre will add to others that opened islandwide in 2022.
Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor said in a Facebook post in December that despite construction delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, four new hawker centres – Fernvale, One Punggol, Senja and Bukit Canberra – as well as two replacement ones in Market Street and Margaret Drive, had begun operations.
“Together, the four new hawker centres added a total of 134 new cooked food stalls,” she said.
An NEA spokesman said the Woodleigh Village Hawker Centre does not come with a market section, adding that there is no shortage of other sources of market produce in the area.
Most of the 20 residents ST spoke to said they do not feel a pressing need for a wet market, as they can get groceries from supermarkets.
Madam Low Yuen Shiow, 59, who works at a bakery in Alkaff Crescent and lives nearby, said younger residents may be less keen to visit wet markets.
Retiree Rosalyn Goh, 62, who previously worked in the IT industry, said: “I’m a supermarket person, so the absence of a wet market will not really affect me.”
She heads to Paya Lebar Quarter, near where she previously lived, to do her grocery runs.
Other residents said they buy groceries from Ang Mo Supermarket in Alkaff Crescent, Prime Supermarket in Bidadari Park Drive, Sheng Siong supermarket in Potong Pasir Community Club and FairPrice Xtra hypermarket in Nex mall.
Some said they visit wet markets in Kovan, Bendemeer or Aljunied.
Mr Lim said: “I used to live in an area with a wet market, so it was easy to get fresher food. I guess it is expected that (the new hawker centre) doesn’t come with a wet market, as we no longer have wet markets around in this region.”
He added: “Even the one in Potong Pasir has only about one fish stall, one meat stall and one vegetable stall – it is very limited. But I guess this is how the world is moving.”