IT HAS been an uphill battle for tenants at a lifestyle centre in Serangoon Gardens which was built as a buffer between a foreign workers' dormitory and landed properties in the area.
But the tenants at the Lifestyle Hub @ Burghley have finally managed to breathe some life into the development.
Business has as much as doubled from last year, said the tenants who operate art workshops, sports facilities, eateries and education centres.
This was after taking matters into their own hands by organising carnivals and roadshows, designing and printing thousands of fliers, and giving out freebies.
The owner of My Art Studio, Mr William Lee, 40, who was the first tenant on the 6,880 sq m site - which is slightly larger than a football field - said that nine tenants decided to unite last year "to change a desert into an oasis for kids".
The 40-year-old, who spearheaded the drive, said: "We knew we needed to drive awareness for this place. It was so dead. No one knew about this place, no one came." Tenants, he said, have spent about $10,000 out of their own pockets in total.
It has been a series of fits and starts for the site's master tenant Hean Nerng Facilities Management, since it won the tender for the state-owned site in 2010.
Then, the site's three single-storey blocks were found to be plagued by electricity brown-outs, leaky roofs and termites. After six-month-long renovations, three tenants moved in.