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So I guess the food court will lost its nice atmosphere just like what happened in Chinatown 3 years ago.. Too bad, Tekka, Bugis and Chinatown (before refurbishment) were my favorite food courts. Now there is only Bugis, but I guess it will be upgraded soon also :(
 

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Tue, Aug 26, 2008
The New Paper



Keep local flavour in mall names

By Reggie J

TEKKA Mall is changing its name to The Verge.

Ai-yo-yo!

After just five years, why has it all gone posh and uppity, considering its smack bang in the heart of Little India?

This gentrification seems to be a common trait among mall owners across the island.

The owners of Tekka Mall, in particular, seem confident that all you need do is revamp a building, rope in a few tenants and watch it take off.

Both locals and tourists alike have many choices now. A name change and slapping on a new veneer is not the solution.

What is needed is a vibrant mix of tenants who can reflect the diverse character of Little India.

Meanwhile, who came up with the name, The Verge, and how was it ever dreamt up? This remains for now a mystery.

Another mystery is why they would want to tone down the Indian identity of a building in this corner of Singapore.

For crying out loud, Tekka Mall, oops, I mean The Verge, is at the crossroads of Little India.

Isn't that what, importantly, tourists especially come here for?

They want cultural uniqueness, not some slick branding that they would have seen in just about every other big city.

The usual brand name tenants dominate in malls here , there and everywhere.

Hello, what ever happened to character?

Our mall managers should pluck a leaf from great shopping experiences elsewhere.

Think SoHo in New York City, folks. Or Harajuku in Tokyo,

Building character is the name of the game.

To ignore this is to be on the verge of retail marketing idiocy.


The writer is a former Singapore marketing professional

This article was first published in The New Paper on Aug 25, 2008.
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter #304
The new name sounds pretentious and obscure and doesnt do anything to identify its location. Sounds more like a condo in Balestier.

So I guess the food court will lost its nice atmosphere just like what happened in Chinatown 3 years ago.. Too bad, Tekka, Bugis and Chinatown (before refurbishment) were my favorite food courts. Now there is only Bugis, but I guess it will be upgraded soon also :(
If you mean the old market (different from a food court), then yes it is getting upgraded. As for modern foodcourts they are more or less the same everywhere, serving roughly the same mix of food and drink. I'd say the numerous coffeeshops and small restaurants in Little India (Race Course Rd etc) offer more authentic Indian atmosphere and cuisine.
 

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The new name sounds pretentious and obscure and doesnt do anything to identify its location. Sounds more like a condo in Balestier.



If you mean the old market (different from a food court), then yes it is getting upgraded. As for modern foodcourts they are more or less the same everywhere, serving roughly the same mix of food and drink. I'd say the numerous coffeeshops and small restaurants in Little India (Race Course Rd etc) offer more authentic Indian atmosphere and cuisine.
In fact I meant the food centre just next to the market. I like the atmosphere of those non air-conditionned area. And Little India, Bugis and Chinatown before the upgrading were among my favorites. And also Seah Im food centre for its thai-muslim beef noodle soup stall.
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter #309




One of the 2 main Hindu temples along Serangoon Road





A future boutique hotel (by the same owner as Hotel 1929)

 

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Miau Miau Miauuuuuuuuu!!!
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I'm really astonished by this area of Singapore, never had I imagined that something quite like that existed. One thing is certain, It's good to have such cultural diversity, as it is always enriching... Even with all its chaos and bustling, it does makes a quite beautiful "streetscape." Thanks for sharing those pictures.
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter #314
Surprising Serangoon

18 Jul 09

Roam Little India and you may find small museums, hip eateries and cool arts spaces



Big changes are happening in Little India.

More than just Mustafa and foreign workers, it is now an enclave of arts spaces, boutique condominiums and hip eateries.

Yes, along the side streets off the main thoroughfare of Serangoon Road there is still the whiff of curry powder and the blare of Hindi music.

But new entrants adding a contemporary urban flavour have been popping up among the rows of terrace shophouses.

And such is the changing vibe with more new buildings coming up, including an 11-storey shopping mall and a hotel.

Buildings making their mark on the area include small condo developments with sleek, geometric designs and plenty of glass and steel, including Soho 188 and [email protected], both located along Race Course Road, and [email protected] in Petain Road.

There are the high-rise developments such as the 481-unit Kerrisdale in Sturdee Road and the 910-unit City Square Residences in Kitchener Road.

Developers spotted a niche opportunity in the area sited close to town and becoming a trendy destination.

Ms Jain Shu, project coordinator with Tania Developments, which is redeveloping three shophouses and building a six-storey extension for residential use in Roberts Lane, says: 'The company already had the property for some time and we realise the Serangoon Road market is upcoming. We see a lot of potential in the area.'

A spokesman for City Developments, developer of City Square Residences and the upcoming 11-storey City Square Mall, says the shopping centre will redefine the shopping and entertainment experience in the precinct, adding that the two projects 'along with other upcoming developments, will gentrify the Serangoon Road vicinity'.

Residential property prices here are comparable with those elsewhere. At [email protected] in Marne Road, the average apartment is priced at $1,000 per sq ft.

Mr Chris Koh, director at Dennis Wee Properties, says the pricing is reasonable as the apartments are close to Farrer Park MRT station.

'Its convenient location is an attraction and buyers will not mind that the area is congested,' he says.

Indeed, a Serangoon Road resident, who wanted to be known only as Mr Saji, 34, says he has seen more people moving into the area in the last three years.

'People used to think that this area was crowded, but now they realise it is so central,' he says.

Long-time resident Srikanth Rajah, 33, who owns a printing shop, has been living in an HDB flat in Buffalo Road for 25 years.

He says the demand for flats in the area has been high, even for old ones like his.

'Property agents have been asking residents if they wish to sell,' he says, adding that he notices more young couples moving into the area.

Appealing to the young and trendy would be the Little India Arts Belt in Kerbau Road, set up in 2002 by the National Arts Council. It is a row of shophouses rented out to arts groups such as Bhaskar's Arts Academy and Sri Warisan Som Said.

Art galleries have also popped up in the area, such as Post-Museum in Rowell Road and Your Mother Gallery in Hindoo Road.

Backpacker hostels have opened here, set in old shophouses which give them a unique charm. Among them are The InnCrowd Backpackers Hostel and Prince of Wales Backpackers Pub, both in Dunlop Street.

As for hip eateries, they include Zsofi Tapas Bar in Dunlop Street, which serves Spanish nibbles such as ham-and-cheese potato fritters, a change from the area's many Indian restaurants.

Expect more new properties in the area over the next year, such as a hotel, at least two low-rise condos, a 20-storey mixed development building and a six-storey extension to Mustafa Centre.

And by year-end, City Square Mall in Kitchener Road will open with more than 250 stores. Anchor tenants include Metro department store, FairPrice supermarket and electronics retailer Best Denki.

With new homes and businesses popping up, just what do residents and regular visitors to Little India think?

Madam Doris Lim, 39, who lives at City Square Residences, says she chose to live here because of the development's convenient location. 'It is close to Farrer Park and Little India MRT stations and the main bus routes,' she says.

As for teacher Wendy Koh, 34, who has been living at Kerrisdale since 2006, she picked the place because she likes the condominium's design 'I didn't really consider the surroundings,' she says.

Mr Rajakumar Chandra, 50, chairman of the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, says the new entrants 'make the area more bustling and not so quiet. There is more vibrancy now'.

The new additions aside, it is still the food that draws trading and operations executive Jayakumar Mannar, 60, to the area twice a week from his home in Eunos.

'It's the nasi briyani - I can't find the same taste anywhere else.'

Dr Kevin Tan, 48, president of the Singapore Heritage Society, says the transformation of Serangoon Road is interesting and exciting.

But he adds: 'Much of the area is still under conservation so I don't see the character of the place changing too rapidly or radically.'

Student May Lam, 23, is a fan of Little India. 'The place is always so alive, regardless of whether it's day or night,' she says.


http://www.straitstimes.com/Life%21/Life+News/Story/STIStory_404514.html
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter #316
I prefer such changes to be minimal so as not to alter the overall feel of the place. Little India should keep its identity..and in some ways it is more interesting than Orchard.

I would suggest covering over those open drains outside the shophouses for safety, and close off some roads to traffic if possible.

Tekka Centre re-opens

2 Aug 09



THE couple have been regular visitors for more than 20 years and they made sure they turned up on Saturday for the reopening of Tekka Centre.

'The lighting is better and there are covered walkways to provide shelter from the rain,' said Mr Zulkepli Md Kassim, a senior draftsman who came to buy groceries with his wife.

Tekka Centre at Block 665, Buffalo Road, had undergone a 14-month facelift costing $10 million.

When The Sunday Times turned up at 11am, the wet market was a hive of activity while half the cooked-food stalls were still shuttered.

'Business has been quite good, with a lot of my regular customers returning,' said Mr Roger Ong, owner of a poultry meat stall.

'The stall positions now are also similar to the old market's, so it's easy for them to find us. The passageways are wider and the place is also cleaner.'

Mr Ong, 40, pays less than $100 a month in rent.

He and other stallowners had relocated to nearby temporary premises while the centre was upgraded.

Other customers interviewed also noted that the place is more spacious and well-ventilated.


http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking+News/Singapore/Story/STIStory_411411.html
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter #318
New building, wider store aisles for Mustafa

31 Jan 2010



Popular 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa is in a hurry to expand, and with reason.

A fourth building, to be ready later this year, will be connected to the three that now form Mustafa Centre, located in the heart of Little India.

This is expected to make shopping there a less crowded experience - and safer too.

The emporium was in the news recently for the wrong reasons: It was fined $17,000 for safety breaches.

The violations included narrow aisles and blocked emergency exits.

The new building will take up 80,000 sq ft along Syed Alwi Road. This will extend the total space to around 240,000 sq ft, a far cry from the 900 sq ft Mustafa started out with in 1973.

To be called Extn-4, this addition will open in late August or early September.

Mustafa, which is popular with both locals and tourists on a bud-get, sells goods from foodstuffs to electronics. It may include a furniture range when the new building opens.

The last time Mustafa expanded was five years ago, when it added a new building at the corner of Verdun Road and Syed Alwi Road.

The latest addition will be taller than the three previous buildings and will have six storeys and four basement levels.

All this means that Mustafa will be more spacious, said Mr Shamim Ahmad, its building maintenance and safety manager.

The new building is among the steps Mustafa has been taking to deal with its space problem and the safety violations it has incurred.

The mall has had 37 violations in the last three years. The latest was on Jan 19, when it was fined $17,000 for two fire safety violations.

Measures it has taken include widening the space between shelves so that patrons have more aisle space.

Another new feature is display screens at all exit doors that show the number of people on the first level of each of the buildings.

The first level is affected as it is the entry point for customers and has the highest volume of traffic.

For safety reasons, the maximum number of people permitted on the first level is 431. Once the number hits 400, staff will stop customers from entering, and usher those inside to other levels to prevent overcrowding.

The oldest Mustafa building, at 145 Syed Alwi Road, will be upgraded next year to make it more spacious and organised. The Mustafa buildings are owned by Mustafa Holdings.

Miss Debby Chiang, 38, who is self-employed, is a regular shopper at Mustafa.

She admitted that she 'didn't even notice that the shelves were further apart' at first, but she was glad to have more space to shop and browse.

By Sumita Sreedharan
Sunday Times
 

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By Spirit
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Discussion Starter #319
Winning design for Indian Heritage Centre unveiled

13 Jul 2011





SINGAPORE: The look of the upcoming Indian Heritage Centre in Little India has been unveiled.

Clinching the architectural design competition was Robert Greg Shand Architects, in collaboration with URBNarc.

The winning design is said to translate the centre's stated vision into an iconic, unique and sustainable building that blends both traditional Indian, as well as modern architectural elements.

The building, at Campbell Lane, is inspired by the "Baoli" or Indian stepped well.

The multi-faceted nature of Indian culture is also captured in the use of a translucent shimmering façade to create an impression of the centre as a "shining jewel" in the day and a "glowing lantern" at night.

The S$12 million building is targeted for completion by December 2013.

- CNA
 
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