Macao’s historic Barra district is set to get a facelift, courtesy of the Cultural Affairs Bureau and gaming concessionaire MGM. The revitalisation project, covering about 35,000 square metres, will focus on restoring 13 run-down buildings.
At a press conference yesterday, bureau president Leong Wai Man said the idea is for the area to eventually morph into a “cultural and creative park” – boasting craft stores, cafés, and performance spaces, the Macau Post Daily reports.
Barra, which is Portuguese for ‘harbour entrance’, was traditionally home to a navy shipyard, carpentry workshops, and a municipal abattoir. Today, it houses assorted government entities and Macao’s Contemporary Art Centre.
As yet, no budget or timetable has been set for the project. However, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U said at the press conference that government entities including the Customs Service will soon move out of the area in order to facilitate electrical and flood prevention works.
As part of their gaming concessions, each of Macao’s six gaming operators has pledged to contribute funds to revitalising parts of the city – in partnership with the government. MGM’s Barra project falls under that remit.
The regeneration of the popular Rua da Felicidade will meanwhile be backed by Wynn Resorts. Other areas for revitalisation, but not yet allocated to a specific gaming operator, include the Iec Long Firecracker Factory’s site, Lai Chi Vun Shipyards, Piers 23 to 25 in the Inner Harbour, and the area from Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro to Rua de Cinco de Outubro.