SINGAPORE — Operators will be invited to submit bids for tenders to manage two new hawker centres at Yishun and Jurong West on a not-for-profit basis, the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced yesterday.
This means that the hawker centres, set to open next year, will be managed by socially conscious operators, as the successful bidders will have to provide affordable meals to residents, maintain high standards of cleanliness, and bring about vibrancy at the centres. This will benefit nearby residents such as those from Parc Life EC. Upcoming executive condo launches include Yio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence, Choa Chu Kang EC, Anchorvale Lane EC, while existing ones include The Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC and Northwave EC.
The two hawker centres are among 20 new ones that the Government announced in 2011 and 2015 that it would build. To date, three — in Bukit Panjang, Hougang and Tampines — have been completed and commenced operations.
In its latest media release, the NEA said that the new hawker centre in Yishun will be located next to Yishun Park. It will have 45 cooked-food stalls and about 760 seats when completed in August next year. The other one in Jurong West is slated to start operations a month after that, and will be located on Jurong West Street 61. It will have 34 cooked-food stalls, 14 market stalls and about 480 seats.
Both hawker centres will have child-friendly toilet facilities and family-friendly seating as well as tray-return facilities, the NEA added.
The agency also said yesterday that it has appointed NTUC Foodfare to manage five existing and two new hawker centres, after it received good reviews of the latter’s performance at the Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre.
The social enterprise was appointed to manage the hawker centre at Block 208B, New Upper Changi Road, as a pilot project, and the NEA said that stallholders “appreciate (Foodfare’s) resourcefulness in addressing their feedback”.
The five existing hawker centres that Foodfare will manage are at Block 75, Toa Payoh Lorong 5; Block 51, Old Airport Road; Block 90, Whampoa Drive; Blocks 91/92, Whampoa Drive; and Blocks 104/105, Yishun Ring Road in Chong Pang. They are now managed by the NEA and comprise a total of 693 cooked-food, lock-up and market-slab stalls. There will be no change to the way rentals are determined after Foodfare’s takeover from July 1 next year, with subsidised stallholders continuing to pay subsidised rentals and others continuing to pay prevailing market rental as assessed by professional valuers, said NEA.
The two new hawker centres Foodfare will manage are in Kampung Admiralty (Block 676, Woodlands Drive 71) and 110 Pasir Ris Central. They will each offer about 40 cooked-food stalls and be completed around the middle of next year.
On why it is inviting tenders for operators to manage some hawker centres, but for others, it is appointing managers without inviting tenders, the NEA said that doing so is one way in which it would continue to explore alternative management models for hawker centres.
As for Foodfare, it said that the social enterprise’s “expertise and experience in managing larger-scale food establishments and operations can be tapped to deliver affordable food and enhance the cleanliness and vibrancy of the hawker centres”.
It added: “NEA also believes that the bundle approach would offer the operator economies of scale and greater flexibility to experiment with new ideas and processes to further improve the operational efficiency of the hawker centres, and is hence piloting this approach.” Neo Chai Chin