Lippo’s big vision comes to life with Meikarta
In 2009, the construction of a planned city – Eko Atlantic – to be situated right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean was announced in Lagos. The construction was thought of as an antidote that would proffer solutions to the major problems of the ever-burgeoning megacity that Lagos is.
The city was planned to create 250,000 jobs, combat acute housing shortage and, perhaps, cement Lagos’ prime position as the financial hub of West Africa. But in 2017, much is yet to be accomplished in the city standing on 10 million square metres of land reclaimed from the ocean.
About 8 years later, in Indonesia, a more ambitious construction project was announced by the Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group.
The Project, Meikarta Centre, is a 500-hectare development with 100 hectares of open green space, 250,000 units of prime residential property and 1,500,000 square metres of prime commercial space whose planning started in 2014, three years before it was eventually announced in May 2017.
The $21 billion industrial centre is situated near Jakarta, targeting the automotive and electronic industries, and will include five-star hotels, shopping malls and universities.
The project is strategically located in the eastern corridor of Jakarta, where the Indonesian government is developing infrastructure including a light-rail transit line connecting major industrial zones in the area. The corridor will also connect Jakarta with the Patimban seaport and Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, West Java.
It is the first of its kind in Indonesia in its scale and vision as a truly integrated city of the future. Not only does Meikarta redefine what a modern city should look like and feel like, it sets the new standard for a world city in Southeast Asia and beyond.
“This is a significant and I may say it’s a signature project for Lippo Group,” said Ketut Budi Wijaya, president of Meikarta.
In the first stage of development, the industrial centre, the largest in the Lippo’s 67 years of operation, will be built on a 22 million square meter area located in a corridor connecting the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to the West Java city of Bandung.
Dubbed “Shenzhen of Indonesia”, the project will include partnerships with Japan’s Mitsubishi Group, Toyota and Sanko Soflan Holdings Co Ltd. Lippo is financing the project with its own capital, loans, and pre-sales of properties in the project.
The township phase of the planned city is expected to be completed in five years and will house about 1 million people, Wijaya said.
As at September, 32,000 fixed units’ buyers have been secured while some 130,000 people paid booking fees, Lippo Group CEO James Riady said in Jakarta on September 11.
“The rest are currently undergoing ‘the closing phase’ to finalize their purchases,” he said on the sidelines of the 2017 BTN Golden Property Awards, where Meikarta won an award in the Breakthrough Phenomenal Campaign category.
“We hope all apartment purchases can be sealed within the next two months,” he added.
Like Eko Atlantic in Lagos, Nigeria, job creation is central to the construction of Meikarta with about 70,000 persons already employed. More people are expected to get jobs as the construction progresses and after its completion.
“We foresee that the future of the Indonesian economy is on the outskirts of Jakarta. Together with the government’s massive infrastructure development plans — which aim to connect the capital with the greater Jakarta area — we believe our project can create jobs for at least 6 to 8 million people in the near future,” James Riady told the media in May.
Beyond the economic impacts Meikarta is expected to create, residents, in the long run, will have a better quality of life in an eco-friendly environment that has low air pollution due to reduced vehicular movements, Wijaya noted.
“With Meikarta, we provide all kinds of a better life…a better quality of life,” he said adding that “you don’t contribute to the pollutions of the world because you don’t have to use your car.”
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