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ORTO leisure park and non-profit Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) will be vacating their premises in Yishun by mid-2023.
Making way for housing
The two tenants are located in a plot of land near Khatib MRT station known as Lorong Chencharu.
The Straits Times reported that the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has informed the tenants they would need to relocate when their lease expires in December this year.
"SLA has offered both tenants an extension up to June 30, 2023, to facilitate their transition plans," said a SLA spokesman.
Previously, it was noted in the Draft URA Master Plan 2019 that the entire area of Lorong Chencharu was set as a residential zone.
Some ORTO tenants moving to Haw Par Villa
ORTO, which opened in 2014, was formerly known as Bottle Tree Park.
The 14 tenants in ORTO include alfresco eateries such as BBK Bistro and Bar, SEA Kitchen, Mookata and Tasty Loong by Chef Pung.
The 24-hour leisure park is home to prawning and longkang fishing ponds, as well as a trampoline park.
The family-friendly destination in the heartlands also features an extensive fishing pond visible to commuters on the North-South line.
Singapore's only live turtle and tortoise museum is one of ORTO's newest tenants.
The museum's owner, Connie Tan, had made a desperate plea to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong when it was facing eviction in Chinese Garden in 2018. The museum then moved to ORTO in 2019.
Tan told ST she is currently in talks with the authorities to relocate to a new site near ORTO.
According to ST, some of ORTO's tenants might be moving to 27 West Coast Highway, a two-storey commercial building near Haw Par Villa MRT station.
"There are no other sites like ORTO in Singapore at the moment," said ORTO spokesman Clifford Loh, who hopes that they can stay in Yishun for a few more years.
New GUI facility will cost around S$2 million
The GUI community has been a strong advocate for sustainability and nature.
Their nature-inspired grounds, Kampung Kampus, conducts programmes that engages the young and old alike in farming activities and woodworking workshops.
GUI's executive lead Cai Bingyu told ST the non-profit is working with the authorities to identify a new site for its operations.
Cai said GUI is in dire need for financial support, citing that its programmes had been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also said that raising funds for operations and another facility would be challenging.
Cai estimates that the first phase of building a new facility, which includes basic facilities and services to get its programmes running, will cost S$2 million.
Top images by ORTO/FB and GUI/FB.
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