The Orchard Road revamp announced by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Parks Board (NParks) in late January 2019 is set to affect the properties in the surrounding areas.
Singapore Government announcement said that the Orchard Road revamp will make the shoppers’ district a a must-visit lifestyle destination.
In announcing the Orchard Road revamp efforts, Minister for Trade and Industry and Co-Chair of Ministerial Steering Committee for Orchard Road Chan Chun Sing said: “Against the backdrop of increasing competition from other cities and the evolving retail landscape, Orchard Road has remained at the forefront of consumer trends to stay relevant to local and international visitors.”
He added: “This was made possible with the public and private sectors working together to bring in innovative concepts and exclusive retail offerings. We will continue our partnership with the private sector to develop Orchard Road as a vibrant lifestyle destination that offers an exceptional experience beyond retail.”
As a lifestyle destination, Orchard Road will offer differentiated experiences to bring out the unique identity of each sub-precinct. Innovative retail concepts, attractions, entertainment and events will be introduced at each sub-precinct to cater to the varied interests of visitors. Side streets such as Killiney Road and Orchard Turn will also be enhanced to allow visitors to discover the lesser known parts of the precinct and better connect Orchard Road to the surrounding neighbourhoods.
With the Orchard Road revamp comes more future mixed-use developments which will be built at the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line Orchard Interchange MRT station.
The Government said that these will be well connected to Orchard Road through side streets to bring more people and add buzz and vibrancy to the precinct.
Mr Philip Ng, Chief Executive Officer, Far East Organization, said the upcoming plan on Orchard Road revamp must be underpinned by collaboration at many levels between the private and public sectors. “Retail is Detail, and Orchard Road’s transformation into a bustling lifestyle destination will require a robust partnership. We must all do our part,” he said.
“My first impressions of Orchard Road started with the Mont D’or cake shop and the first Herbie Volkswagen on display in the 1970s. Since then, I am always pleasantly surprised by the constant evolution of this street. The proposed plans for Orchard Road are something I look forward to, and will serve to position Orchard Road as one of the premier lifestyle destinations in the world,” said Mr Ho Sing, Chief Executive Officer, YTL Starhill Global REIT Management Limited.
With the Orchard Road revamp, Tanglin (one of the sub-precincts of Orchard Road), may see new lifestyle experiences to be introduced in its area. This will strengthen its identity as a mixed-use neighbourhood with a strong arts and artisanal flavour.
The Government said: “for instance, the conserved Tudor Court can be used to house more arts, cultural and lifestyle offerings. The upcoming opening of the Orchard Boulevard MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line will bring added convenience to visitors in this sub-precinct.”
Somerset, another precinct in the Orchard Road area which is already known as a youth hub, can be further enhanced with new lifestyle offerings catering to youths, said the announcement. It added that the Grange Road car park can be transformed into a dynamic event space, where activities are regularly refreshed.
The same announcement said that the Dhoby Ghaut sub-precinct is envisaged as a family-friendly lifestyle zone, nestled in lush greenery. And that wxisting green spaces at the Istana Park, Dhoby Ghaut Green and the open space at Plaza Singapura can be linked up by pedestrianising a section of the road.
The Government said more space will be available to create children play areas and flexible event venues for festivals and fashion shows in the Dhoby Ghaut area with the Orchard Road revamp.
The Government agencies which are jointly revamping the Orchard Road district said:
“Over the years, Singapore has acquired an international reputation as a City in a Garden. Coupled with Orchard Road’s origins as a nutmeg, clove and fruit orchard, there is an unprecedented opportunity for the precinct to be distinguished from other international shopping streets by Bringing Back the Orchard.
“Orchard Road is envisaged as a lush green urban corridor connecting the historical green spaces: Singapore Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park. The streets can be enhanced through a curated showcase of vibrant trees and shrubs that depict the colours of the tropics. Nutmeg and cloves can also be incorporated in strategic locations, to draw back to Orchard Road’s origins. Additionally, Istana Park can also be rejuvenated with themed gardens inspired by the botanical and horticultural traditions and practices seen throughout Singapore’s history.”
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