The 32-year-old Pasir Panjang Wholesale Centre is undergoing improvement works, and sellers there are hopeful that a refurbished centre will draw the crowds back.
Some areas in the centre were hoarded up when The Straits Times visited earlier this month.
According to the signs put up, a wider carpark driveway will be completed by the end of this month, and a linkway between Blocks 13 and 14 will be built by end-September. The centre remains open during this period.
HDB called for an expression of interest last month for a consultant to carry out further improvement works by mid-2017, such as building more covered walkways and roof extensions, upgrading common toilets and repainting the facade of the centre.
The cost of the renovations is not available as the proposals are not finalised.
Mr Tay Khiam Back, chairman of the centre’s association, said stallholders will also benefit from new coldrooms currently under construction.
“The previous system was designed more than 30 years ago and is getting old,” he said.
Sellers and shoppers said the renovations works are a long time coming.
The centre, made up of 26 blocks, opened in 1983 to centralise the distribution of vegetables, fruits and dried goods.
Sellers said that the number of walk-in customers has dwindled over the years as people preferred to shop for groceries in the comfort of supermarkets instead of the non-air-conditioned centre.
Madam Sim Cho Hwang, the 62-year-old boss of Shen Trading and Wholesale, a dried goods store in the centre, said: “It is about time they did something about the carpark. It has been the same size since 1983, and there are cracks in the carpark grounds.”
With perspiration running down her face, she added: “I hope they make the roof higher, so there is better ventilation. It is very hot in here.”
Madam Noor Sinah Abdul Gani, who shops at the centre once a week, said she is looking forward to the covered walkways and wider carpark driveway.
The 58-year-old, who sells spices at a Jurong East market, said: “The centre is quite dirty and disorganised now, and the carpark is small and congested.”