A one-time Singaporean nightlife hub is set to become the new home of British technology company Dyson, famed maker of hairdryers, fans, and vacuum cleaners.
The company is expected to move into the 110,000-square-foot space occupied by entertainment venues for the past decade by late next year, property owner Mapletree announced last night.
“After 12 years of growth in Singapore, continuing expansion in the UK, and growing sales globally, we have outgrown our current technology center in Singapore,” CEO Jim Rowan was quoted in the announcement.
“The historic St. James Power Station will be a most inspiring backdrop for Dyson’s people. It will be a hive for our research and development endeavors as we focus on great technology breakthroughs,” he added.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 1991, Dyson announced in January that it would move its headquarters to Singapore to begin producing electric vehicles.
Just over a month ago, the company announced it was canceling its electric car project, saying it was not “commercially viable.”
Dyson’s technology center, where it conducts research and development, is currently at the Singapore Science Park while its commercial offices are at One-north.
From power plant to party central
Located in Harborfront and a stone’s throw from Sentosa island, the St. James Power Station was built in 1927 as a coal-fired power plant supplying electricity to the nearby shipyards and residences.
It is made up of three four-story blocks and two 33-meter brick chimneys.
In 1976, the power station was decommissioned and converted into a commercial warehouse.
It underwent a major renovation in the mid-2000s and re-opened in 2006 as an entertainment complex, housing clubs like District One. In its latter years, the area became infamous for all sorts of crimes, including one case in 2016 where five men were accused of hurling Molotov cocktails at a club there.
The parties at St James Power Station ended in September last year when its lease expired. It is currently being renovated before reopening, according to Mapletree.
Aside from housing Dyson’s new headquarters, the area will also have a heritage gallery showcasing the St James Power Station’s history.