The new Funan Mall. Sometimes new is not always better…

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The new Funan Mall opened to much fanfare in June 2019. One month later, here are some thoughts and perhaps gripes from a fan of the old Funan the IT Mall.

So it’s been a while since the Funan Mall opened. In fact, it has been just about a month since the grand opening of Funan Mall and here is a perfect example of why new is not always better.

I am a tech geek and was rather disappointed when the old Funan Mall had to make way for a revamp. I still reminisce the days where I had to take the escalator up to the top level to get to the iconic Challenger megastore or how I would visit the Newstead (are they still around?) stall whenever I wanted to get a new laptop. It was rather therapeutic, to be frank. The food court just below the Challenger megastore served to be a place to sit down, get a drink and analyse the countless brochures which I accumulated and try to sieve out the best deals before plonking down my cash on the latest IT gadgets. In fact, one of the greatest life hacks was that I used to visit online forums to learn about the great deals available at ongoing IT and PC shows and then make my way down to Funan and get the same deal or better. Some shops even gave a discount if I paid in cash rather than using my credit card as they would save on transaction fees. All was fine until someone decided that Funan should undergo a major revamp.

Que the teardown and redevelopment of one of Singapore’s iconic malls and a couple of years later, this is it…

Ok for starters, it does look more contemporary than the previous reiteration. I still find it weird that they would line the place with blue and purple neon lights.

They’ve added a cycling path within the mall but I did not see anyone on a bicycle using this path. However, this is a good initiative although I do think that they could go a little further by making it glaringly obvious where cyclists are supposed to park their bicycles or where they could use facilities to shower or freshen up if they are cycling to work. I just think that this was more of an afterthought rather than a true effort to encourage people to cycle to the mall.

There is a rock climbing facility within the mall as well.

And on the rooftop, a futsal facility. This is pretty perplexing in my opinion. When I visited it was post office hours and no one was playing futsal. I stayed till 8 pm and still the facility was unused.

I just do not think that many would associate Funan with rock climbing and futsal. Prices would not be cheap due to high rents and if they were then I’d worry about the long term sustainability of the facility.

WeWork is based on the upper levels of Funan but then WeWork is everywhere…

Oh yes, you can pay for your food at the food court using cryptocurrency which is kind of cool.

 

The old Funan used to be called Funan the IT mall and now the new Funan is aptly named Funan Mall. This is no longer a place for tech geeks to get their latest gadgets but more like your typical run of the mill shopping mall. To be honest, it kind of feels like City Square Mall meets Junction 8 and they had a baby and it looked kind of like a watered-down version of Jewel at Changi Airport and Kallang Wave Mall with more neon lights. I just felt like CapitaLand Malls had the chance to make this mall a better version of what it previously was. Instead, they created a better version of their existing malls. I am not saying that this is a bad place to go to. To me, this newer version is a poorer version of Funan the IT Mall.

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