Finally, the logistical problems of temporarily re-locating Oriental City have been recognised. A deal has been struck between the OC business owners and the development company which will allow tenants to operate rent free until the centre's closure in June 2008. This would appear to be a financial boost to help soften the blow of closure.
As for the new Oriental City, all we know is that some form of new plaza will be created but there are no firm details as to what form that will take or what businesses will be located there.
The settlement means that Oriental City traders have been allowed free rent and can remain open for business until the development starts June 2008. Julian Barwick, the joint managing director of development Securities said: “We recognise that it is not possible to temporarily relocate tenants during redevelopment and because of this there is a period of uncertainty for the tenants. Therefore, we have agreed a clear timetable for close down of the package of measures including rent free from now until closure to provide assistance to tenants.”
Although when asked if the traders would be allowed to return to the New Oriental City, Dimsum was told that the practicalities of a huge redevelopment such as this means that there was no guarantee that they would all be in a position to return. Nevertheless, we were assured that the concept of Oriental City is protected, for South East Asian businesses to fill the new development.