Rebuilding planned for burned-out Seria shop houses

National 1 minute, 37 seconds

BELAIT

PLANS for demolishing and rebuilding Seria's iconic shop houses which were gutted by a fire last September are underway.

The Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi) recently confirmed that they had approved the architect's hoarding plan to enclose the site, a necessary step before demolition is carried out. The proposed design for the new shop houses – which are separated into four lots owned by four separate owners – has also been acknowledged by the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP).

The department said that design for some of the lots had been approved, while others are in the process.

Eateries along Jalan Sultan Omar Ali welcomed news of the proposed redevelopment of Lots 27 to 30 to bring in more foot traffic in the area, which they claim has dropped since the building's last tenant, Milimewah, vacated after the fire.

Seria's Penghulu Hj Jamail Linap is also hoping for the building to be constructed as soon as possible in order to “revitalise” the town centre.

“Many people, myself included, have been looking forward to news about the redevelopment of the buildings.

“The building itself is a Seria landmark, housing the town centre's only department store. Since it was burned down, people go elsewhere for groceries or shopping, which in turn affects the long-time eateries here who count on the public to stop by for a bite before or after they do their shopping,” he said yesterday.

Members of the public out and about the town centre yesterday were equally eager for the rebuilding to happen soon.

“Its been close to eight months since the fire happened. Many of us (the Belait community) are curious, and are looking forward to hear what's happening next; when the rebuilding be and who will move in (the new shop lots)?” said 38-year-old Ahamd Nazirul Ismail.

The fire originating from an electrical fault on the afternoon of September 25 was previously reported to have cost $7 million in damages.

The Brunei Times