Here’s the article reproduced from ChannelNewsAsia:
Former Changi General Hospital turns spa-cum-resort
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia, Posted: 01 February 2007 1944 hrs
SINGAPORE: The former Changi General Hospital site is getting a new lease of life.
Its next incarnation is going to be a spa-cum-resort, after a S$20 million makeover.
In recent times, the 70-year-old state building has been used for on-location shoots of local drama series and theatrical productions.
It has even been the haunt of paranormal investigators and school children out for a thrill or two.
But the developers hope to change all that.
While the place may look a little rundown right now, by this time next year, developers hope to have turned it into a chic spa-cum-resort.
But in the process, they will have to adhere to strict conservation guidelines.
This means they cannot really do much with the external structure and facades but they can revamp the inside. They hope to do this while retaining the rustic charm of the Changi area.
Two of the three blocks will be restored and the tranquillity of the area will be preserved.
Premium Pacific, a subsidiary of Bestway Properties, which came in at the higher of two bids of S$33,388 per month, has an initial 3-year tenancy agreement with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). This is renewable up to 2016.
Developers hope to attract both locals and foreigners to the laid-back area.
Anthony Tan, Director, Bestway Properties, said: “Now everyone is hot for Sentosa. We are not following the crowd; we are going the other way. Singaporeans like to go to Bali, Bintan or Chiang Mai. When they have limited time, they may consider staying here for 2 or 3 nights. Foreigners on late flights can also make their way here since it is so near to the airport.”
The company is now looking for partners to operate the spa and a restaurant.
The SLA says there have been recent improvements to the Changi area and this conversion will help create more buzz.
They plan to release more of such buildings to be adapted for other uses.
I guess most young Singaporeans will only associate the old Changi Hospital as a place of paranormal. So, even with the redevelopment, I wonder how many people will actually patronize this place. It seems so ironic that an old place with a paranormal reputation is going to become the exact opposite, a place to rest and relax and to enjoy a soothing spa and resort. The point about being near to Changi Airport is very valid and no doubt that this will become an attractive place for foreign delegates to take a short break before attending their local conferences. Then again, I dun think foreigners will know it’s history either. For locals, it may be a bit harder to convince. Then again, such developments in Singapore is not unheard of, especially given the land constrains we’re facing here. This development may be able to change the perception and image of Old Changi Hospital in the long run, in younger generation of Singaporeans who have not heard the stories yet. Truth fade to legends, legends fade to myths and myths are forgotten with the passing of time. So maybe in the not so near future, this may become a Singaporean hotspot too.