updated 24 Oct 2010, 12:30
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Fri, Jul 09, 2010
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Shopping belt soon for Orchard MRT
by Pamela Chow

ORCHARD MRT station will be getting a shopping belt, in line with its location in Singapore’s largest shopping district.

The area in the station that used to house Popular Bookstore will be transformed into train operator SMRT’s eighth MRT station shopping strip – which it calls an Xchange – by the end of this year.

Ms Teo Chew Hoon, vice- president of SMRT’s commercial and taxi division, said yesterday that response to tenders for the 1,500 sq m of space up for rent has been “very good”.

Further details will be revealed closer to the Xchange’s opening date in December.
SMRT also plans to set up the ninth Xchange in Jurong East next year.

The shop spaces in existing Xchanges have been taken up completely – a testament to their success, said Ms Teo.

SMRT announced these plans at the launch of Esplanade Xchange – its seventh Xchange and the first in a Circle Line station.

It is touted as providing a “new digital and dining experience”, with 14 of its 26 shops selling food and beverages, ranging from to-go snacks like doughnuts to full meals at a food court.

Three stores sell gadgets and electronics, giving visitors – particularly the tech-savvy generation – their technology fix.

All 26 shops, which occupy about 2,000 sq m, will be open by the middle of this month.

Ms Teo is optimistic about high human traffic along this Xchange, due to its strategic location and entry points.

She noted that this is the nearest station for the hordes who throng exhibitions and conventions at Suntec Singapore, and those who attend shows and activities at the Esplanade.

The Xchange is now accessible via four points: Bras Basah Road, City Link Mall, Marina Square and Suntec City. A fifth entry point from Raffles City will open in the middle of this month.

To celebrate the launch, its tenants are holding a series of promotions that will last until Aug 31. They include a lucky draw to win Apple iPads, and instant draws to win up to $8,000 worth of vouchers.

Housewife Rose Suzy, 41, who visited the Xchange yesterday, said: “There’s a lot of food along this stretch, giving us a wide selection. Plus, it’s very accessible. It certainly adds to the commuting experience.”

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