SINGAPORE - The man who was the public face of the cleaned-up Boat Quay area has resigned.
Mr Ty Tabing, former executive director of Singapore River One (SRO), cited family reasons.
The 47-year-old American's last day with the group was last Friday, and he has left the country.
The group represents the business interests of tenants and stakeholders in Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay.
In an e-mail interview with Life! yesterday, he said: "Personal circumstances now require me to return home to the United States.
"I do not have any other plans that will see me staying on in Singapore... I will probably take a break for a couple of months before I decide on my next career move."
Mr Wilson Tan, chairman of SRO's board of directors, said: "We are thankful for Ty's leadership in the past two years. He has helped the organisation grow and expand its presence in Singapore. We wish Ty the best in the next phase of his career."
The group's marketing and communications manager, Mr Darius Goh, 30, said: "Mr Tabing had shown great dedication and leadership to SRO. Hence, the group knew it was not easy for him to come to this decision. We had to respect that, however reluctant we were to let him leave." Mr Tabing's replacement has already been found and more details will be shared at a later date.
Life! understands that this replacement will come on board only in the middle of August. In the interim, SRO's management team will lead its day-to-day operations. Before Mr Tabing joined SRO, he headed a similar business improvement group called Chicago Loop Alliance in the US. There, he received international acclaim for his leadership in creating dynamic events, cultural celebrations and public art installations.
Since SRO's launch in 2012, he has headed the management team of the non-profit body, which aims to make the Singapore River precinct more vibrant and attractive to visitors.
Under Mr Tabing's charge, touting - a problem that plagued the area for years - was drastically reduced by having auxiliary police patrol the area.
Circular Road was pedestrianised.
Underpasses connecting the three areas of the precinct were also spruced up, with artists painting murals on the walls of these underpasses.
In addition, Mr Tabing spearheaded a plan to renovate the alfresco dining areas in Boat Quay in March this year.
He said: "That's my proudest achievement. The Boat Quay issue has long been a pain point among the stakeholders in that area. It has been a long journey to realise action plans to enhance the area.
"I hope to return in a few years to see the fully refurbished area bustling with energy and life."