Jakarta. Lippo Group’s mega-project Meikarta is going to set a new standard of living in a modern city, as it aims to redefine urban life in Southeast Asia.
The Rp 278 trillion ($20.50 billion) worth of investment satellite city of Jakarta will be developed on 500 hectares of land in Cikarang, Bekasi, West Java, 34 kilometers to the east of the capital.
“Transforming lives. That’s what we do at Lippo,” Meikarta president Ketut Budi Wijaya told the Jakarta Globe during an interview on Thursday (26/10).
The project is the biggest endeavor in Lippo’s 67-year history.
“By developing a modern city, we want to make a change, improve people’s welfare,” Ketut said.
According to its blueprint, Meikarta will have more than 200 skyscrapers that will host offices, apartments, shopping malls, educational institutions and health care facilities. The developer is going to build 225,000 premium housing units and will designate 1.5 million square meters for commercial space.
As the future city is going to accommodate 1 million people, it will help ease the country’s staggering housing backlog of 11.4 million units.
“With Meikarta, we also seek to help the government to ease the housing backlog. The president promised to develop 1 million units annually. That is 5 million units during his tenure. What about the remainder? It is expected to come from the private sector,” Ketut said, adding that the Lippo Group has designed a pricing scheme that will make Meikarta’s residential units affordable.
While a square mater of land in Cikarang is on average priced at between Rp 18 million and Rp 20 million, Meikarta offers discounts to even Rp 12.5 million and 25-year mortgages with an interest rate of 8.25 percent.
Buyers only need to pay a booking fee of Rp 2 million and a down payment of just 10 percent of the total price.
The rapid rise of property prices in Jakarta has made many people move to the outskirts, from where each morning they will travel to work. With the capital city’s already insufferable traffic congestion, they waste at least several hours every single day on commuting.
But it is not only the prices and traffic jams that make living in Jakarta increasingly difficult. Wrong spatial planning, floods and extreme pollution pose a great challenge for the city’s inhabitants.
According to Ketut, Meikarta will surpass everything Indonesia has so far seen in its urban history.
The city is located next to the toll road that connects Jakarta to Bandung, and is surrounded by several industrial townships, including Lippo Cikarang, MM2100 and Jababeka.
Thousands of local and multinational companies have their manufacturing and assembling facilities in the area. Big names such as Astra, Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hankook and Samsung, which employ millions of workers, are Cikarang’s tenants.
In the next 20 years, the population of the district is expected to reach 15 million.
The future city will not only have world-class infrastructure, but also premium hospitals, recreational facilities such as libraries, theaters and art centers, and educational institutions.
A special area will be designated for industrial research and innovations, with the eventual aim to develop the future Indonesian Silicon Valley.
Apart from fancy and futuristic design, the city will also employ numerous solutions to be an environmentally friendly alternative to the polluted and congested capital. Meikarta’s main green space area, Central Park, named after the most important public park in New York, will cover 100 hectares of the city center.
The first 50 residential towers will be ready by the end of 2018.
A mini-zoo, a jogging track, 25 hectares of artificial lakes, pedestrians-only pavements and proper sitting areas with benches will let Meikarta’s inhabitants enjoy their time outdoors.
Meikarta has an access to the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road, the busiest toll road in the country.
Several other big infrastructure projects will be developed in the city’s neighborhood to support mobility: a light rail transit system connected to the greater Jakarta area, Majalengka International Airport in Kertajati, Patimban Port, a monorail system connected to the industrial areas of Bekasi and Cikarang, and a high-speed train connecting Jakarta, Bekasi, Cikarang and Bandung.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan expressed his support for the project at Meikarta’s topping off ceremony on Sunday (29/10), by saying it creates employment and brings long-term positive impact to the economy.
According to Syarif Burhanuddin of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, projects initiated by the private sector help the government in meeting the housing demand.
“It is great when there are developers who want to offer affordable housing with all necessary facilities and infrastructure,” he said.
Indonesia Property Watch executive director Ali Tranghanda praised Lippo Group’s initiative, by saying that the mega-project will strengthen the regional economy.
The Jakarta Globe is part of the Lippo Group.