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Dempsey tenants hold out hope they can continue business at ‘second home’

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“I’ve looked and checked around but there’s nothing suitable for my industry, which is a bit on the mid-market to the upper market,” he said.

He added that Dempsey is a “wonderful place” for his business.

“Push comes to shove, and we cannot find a suitable place to move in come March, then there’s a highly likely possibility that we might have to close shop,” he told CNA.

He said that the tenants are holding out hope that the authorities will empathise with them.

In response to queries from CNA, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), which manages Dempsey, said it will engage all direct and master tenants before the end of their tenancy terms.

“SLA may consider an extension of tenancies on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration factors such as the specific circumstances of the site and the overall planning intention of the precinct,” it said. 

“SECOND HOME” LIKE NO OTHER

Another business owner in the same boat as Mr Hedger is Ms Ang of Woody Antique House.

The store has called Dempsey home for more than two decades.

“This is like a second home already,” she said, adding that expat customers who have left the country visit the store with new friends whenever they return here.

She noted that when the store first opened, it was among several furniture shops selling teak wood and artefacts, along with many carpet shops as well.

Woody Antique House is now one of a few furniture shops that remain at the popular lifestyle destination, she said.

“There’s this rustic charm where you know, people can come here, they will browse through all the shops and then they can find little treasures, hidden in the corners and things like that,” she said.



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