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Rivervale Plaza upgrade mostly done
UPGRADING works at Rivervale Plaza are on track and will be completed by the end of this month, said the Housing Board.
By: Kash Cheong
UPGRADING works at Rivervale Plaza - which became a hot-button issue in the recent Punggol East by-election - are on track and will be completed by the end of this month, said the Housing Board.
The renovation sparked political controversy after it stalled under the watch of the People's Action Party - causing tenants to suffer losses and inconveniencing residents.
The upgrading works, costing about $10 million, were scheduled for completion last May. But the first contractor, Technobuilt, went bust and the HDB had to employ a new one.
"When the upgraded works are completed, 10 new shops and 24 kiosks will be added, thus offering a more vibrant shopping and dining experience," said an HDB spokesman.
When The Straits Times visited yesterday, Rivervale Plaza was fully air-conditioned and mostly in shape, with new kiosks being built. This was a far cry from back when shoppers had to squeeze through narrow passageways during construction works.
Ms Lee Li Lian, Workers' Party MP for Punggol East, said: "With more stalls, the plaza will be able to attract more shoppers and this in turn should help to boost business."
Shop owners say there has been a modest increase in mall visitors after hoardings were removed a few weeks ago.
"Few people know the mall is almost ready," said watch shop owner Simon Teo, 57. "We need more advertising."
Resident Tan Hwee Min, 24, said: "The upgraded mall has more clothes shops, shoes and beauty products... I will consider coming here more often."