Funan DigitaLife Mall to be closed for 3 years for redevelopment

Funan DigitaLife Mall will be closed for 3 years from the third quarter of 2016 for a major redevelopment.

Funan

Located in North Bridge Road, the mall specialised in electronics and IT-related goods. CapitaLand Mall Trust had hinted in the past that Funan might be sold or redeveloped. More details on the redevelopment will be announced at a later date. But from the length of the redevelopment, it seems like the building will be torn down and completely rebuild. According to the press release, Funan will be redeveloped into an experiential creative hub within the city that engages communities to incubate new ideas and passions, and enables shoppers to enjoy retail in a technology-enabled environment.

Although we all expect Funan to be redeveloped in the near future, it still saddens me when I heard about the news. I have so much memories of the place. The mall gone through several renaming in the past but most people still call it by its original name, Funan Centre, when it was open in 1985. It was renamed Funan The IT Mall in 1997 and Funan DigitaLife Mall in 2005.

Not many people know about this but I used to work part time there in 1997 as a salesperson at the Compaq Store while waiting for my Polytechnic admission. I still visit the mall at least once a month during my Poly days to check out the latest in tech. After my army, I started joining the Singapore Palm User Group and we hang out at Funan almost every Saturday. We would spend the afternoon chatting at McDonalds, exchanging tips and tricks on Palm OS. We started hanging out lesser and lesser with the decline of Palm OS. But I still visit the mall frequently even till now. In fact, I was there just 2 weeks ago.

It is sad to see Funan go. But I guess this is inevitable. With the growth of online shopping, it is tough for small IT retail shops to survive. Bigger IT retail shops like Challenger have moved to the heartland malls or gone online. So it is just a matter of time before a IT mall like Funan go the way of a CD shop.

Goodbye Funan. You will be missed.

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