$200m Down­town East up­grad­ing com­pleted

The New Paper - - LIFESTYLE -

First es­tab­lished as NTUC Pasir Ris Re­sort in 1988 to pro­vide af­ford­able, no-frills recre­ational ex­pe­ri­ences to Sin­ga­pore’s work­force, Down­town East has evolved rapidly over the years.

To­day, it is a one-stop life­style des­ti­na­tion for the so­cial and recre­ational needs of union mem­bers and the pub­lic alike, as peo­ple from dif­fer­ent age groups and back­grounds en­joy the at­trac­tions and fa­cil­i­ties.

They in­clude the coun­try’s first na­ture-in­spired ac­com­mo­da­tion D’Re­sort, an ex­panded Wild Wild Wet wa­ter park, as well as over 110 re­tail, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment op­tions at Mar­ket Square – E!Av­enue and E!Hub.

This month, Down­town East – which is man­aged by NTUC Club, the leisure and en­ter­tain­ment arm of NTUC – will cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of a fiveyear, $200 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment project.

NTUC Club chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Mr Lim Eng Lee, told The New Pa­per: “We have re­vamped Down­town East in our ef­forts to make it more in­clu­sive to ev­ery­one, while still re­main­ing af­ford­able.”

He added: “Cus­tomers’ stan­dards have gone up. Over the years, they have com­plained about the qual­ity of some fa­cil­i­ties so it’s im­por­tant to make changes to meet the de­mands of the peo­ple.”

Wild Wild Wet, which opened in 2004, is now dou­ble its orig­i­nal size, from two to four hectares, and has seven new rides added.

D’Re­sort, which opened in 2015, now con­sists of 387 rooms with an up­graded chalet block and a re­sort block.

Mr Lim said: “The rooms are up­graded to a level com­pa­ra­ble with some ho­tels in town, but if you com­pare those ho­tels’ rates with ours, our cus­tomers get so much more.”

For the du­ra­tion of their stay at D’Re­sort, union mem­bers are en­ti­tled to un­lim­ited ad­mis­sion to Wild Wild Wet. Room rates start from $98 if booked six months in ad­vance.

In ad­di­tion, E!Av­enue was built to in­clude new food, bev­er­age and re­tail out­lets, and there are plans to re­fur­bish E!Hub in the next five years.

NTUC Club will also com­mit $20 mil­lion to de­vel­op­ing of­fer­ings and pro­grammes to strengthen and deepen com­mu­ni­ties’ bonds, like an an­nual con­tri­bu­tion of $1.5 mil­lion to host Fam­ily Fun Fi­esta (F3), which en­ables lower-in­come union mem­bers to en­joy a day of fun with their fam­i­lies at Down­town East at no cost.

Down­town East cel­e­brates its 30th an­niver­sary to­mor­row at 4pm with the DE30 Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, fea­tur­ing live per­for­mances from The Sam Wil­lows, TheLionCi­tyBoy, Boon Hui Lu, Su­fie Rashid and other lo­cal artists.

Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude the KBlive Fest Up­size food bazaar, Un­cle Ringo Car­ni­val and other game booths at the Com­mu­nity Vil­lage.

Ad­mis­sion is free to the an­niver­sary event, which takes place from 10am to 10pm.

– NUR SYAHINDAH ISHAK

PHOTO: DOWN­TOWN EAST

Down­town East has com­pleted a five-year $200m re­de­vel­op­ment project.

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