Zouk can stay until end 2017, if it secures new venue by mid 2015

Zouk can stay until end 2017, if it secures new venue by mid 2015

SINGAPORE - Partygoers can heave a sigh of relief - for one more year at least - after the government agreed on Thursday to extend Zouk's tenancy expiry from Dec 31, 2014 to Dec 31, 2015.

During this time, Zouk's management is expected to secure alternative premises by June 30, 2015, following which, the tenancy at its current premises will be given one more final extension up to Dec 31, 2017.

This caveat was announced in a joint statement released today by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

"An extension up to 2017 will give Zouk sufficient time to undertake renovations or to plan and construct a new structure to house the club at the new site, and relocate thereafter," the statement said.

If Zouk is unable or chooses not to secure a new location by June 30, 2015, the tenancy at Jiak Kim Street will expire six months later.

In granting the extension, SLA, STB and URA said that they considered the concerns of and impact faced by neighbouring residents living in the predominantly residential area, as well as Zouk's contribution to the strengthening of Singapore's reputation in the international entertainment scene.

"The decision aims to strike a balance between giving Zouk the time it requires to make alternative arrangements, while providing the residents certainty on the plans for the area by way of the final, conditional extension at Jiak Kim Street.

"In the meantime, the relevant agencies will continue to work with Zouk to minimise any inconveniences and social disamenities in the area."

Earlier in June, Zouk's founder, Mr Lincoln Chng told the Straits Times that "he is tired of getting short lease extensions for the popular dance club's Jiak Kim Street site."

A Save Zouk Campaign was later launched from June 20 to Sept 1 to save the iconic party place. By September, over 39,160 locals and foreigners had signed the appeal to URA.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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