Singapore’s iconic club, Zouk Singapore, just had its future secured. But in the short term.
Singapore’s government have confirmed that they will give Zouk Singapore a one-year extension on its lease at Jiak Kim Street when it expires on 31st December 2014. If Zouk is able to secure a new location by 30th June 2015, the authorities will extend its lease further until the end of 2017 to facilitate the move.
The joint statement from Singapore Land Authority (SLA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said:
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.
In arriving at the decision to grant the conditional extension, SLA, STB and URA 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.
In short, partygoers can collectively heave a huge sigh of relief as Zouk Singapore will be here to stay at least from 31st December 2014 until 31st December 2015.
In an earlier interview, Zouk’s founder Lincoln Cheng said that he is tired of getting short lease extensions for his club and he would be closing the 23-year-old club for good by the end of the year if he did not get a 3-year extension, which he has requested from the authorities. The “Save Zouk” campaign was launched in June and garnered close to 40,000 votes in 2 months:
Not only were the Zouk Singapore employees and partygoers alike were affected by news of the (then) impending closure, the world’s top DJs/producers (some of which have been to Zouk Singapore many times in the past) have also rallied together for the #SaveZouk campaign.
Have you seen these videos?
So, the question is, why the closure threat in the first place?
In the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) latest Master Plan, which governs Singapore’s development over the next 10 to 15 years, Zouk’s premises are within a larger site zoned for residential use, with commercial activity on the first floor. Even though the site has not yet been listed for sale under the Government Land Sales Programme, the areas surrounding Zouk has become “an established residential precinct” and “Zouk’s operation is not compatible with the area”.
However, all hope is not lost. Not just yet. Some venues are still being explored (since 2010) for a possible new home for Zouk Singapore such as Sentosa, the Old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Old Kallang Airport, and the Singapore Flyer.
Meanwhile, partygoers can rest their worries for a bit and their dancing shoes on for club nights as well as the upcoming ZoukOut 2014!