Get fit at new Bedok mixed business park

BUY a piece of sports equipment and then sweat it out exercising, all under one roof?

That is a fitness allure thrown up by the revamp of Chai Chee Technopark - two bus stops from Bedok MRT station - which is being rebranded as a mixed business park called Viva Business Park, with lifestyle and healthy living as one key focus.

Some 226,386 sq ft of space is being set aside for retail, food and beverage and other commercial uses.

Viva has scored a coup in getting Decathlon to open its first flagship store here on Saturday. The French sporting goods retailer, which has more than 1,000 stores worldwide, is touted as the "Ikea of sporting goods".

The 35,000 sq ft outlet here, which costs about $1 million to set up, will sell more than 95,000 items from over 50 sports.

"For space reasons, we chose Bedok over the Central Business District," Bastien Grandgeorge, chief executive of Decathlon Singapore, told My Paper.

He noted that Bedok is a "densely populated residential and commercial area" with families - Decathlon's target market.

Adding to the fitness mix, True Fitness will open an 18,000 sq ft branch in August.

Its seventh outlet here will offer Aerial Yoga classes and introduce Queenax, a customisable workout system.

Offside Sports Group will also invest in an indoor softball and baseball batting cage with a fusion restaurant, said to be the first of its kind in Asia.

The group, which will partner Japanese sports equipment maker Mizuno in this venture, will provide an air-conditioned, four-lane batting facility with adjustable pitching speeds.

The park is also expected to welcome Singapore's largest and tallest air-conditioned sports climbing facility.

Other tenants coming on board include Singapore food and beverage company Owl Cafe, with a first-of-its-kind Straits Asian drive-through, and cafe and Western cuisine chain Astons, which will open its first outlet featuring a new halal steakhouse concept.

Wilson Ang, chief executive of Viva Industrial Trust Management which owns Viva Business Park, said the opening of Decathlon's flagship store, along with other new tenants, will further help enliven Bedok. The area also stands to benefit from the Housing Board's rejuvenation plans for the East Coast region.

Hannah Chang, assistant professor of marketing at the Singapore Management University's Lee Kong Chian School of Business, said Viva Business Park can "potentially do well" as Singaporeans have "increasingly positive attitudes towards healthy living and more frequent sports participation over the last few years".

She added that consumer confidence and willingness to spend have also remained above the long-term averages in general.

However, she noted that the business park's performance would also depend on other factors such as its market positioning in a competitive landscape, given an increasing number of sporting facilities in Singapore.

Meanwhile, news of the new attraction has perked up residents. Lucas Tay, a 19-year-old student, said the health-centred offerings could encourage more to take up sports.

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