Fri, 11 Jun 2004

City mulls comercial conversions

Damar Harsanto, Jakarta

The Jakarta administration is considering whether to allow part of upscale residential area Kebayoran Baru to be converted into a commercial area, as proposed by businesspeople.

"There is a possibility (of the conversion), but we have yet to make any decision," assistant to the City Secretary for Development Affairs IGKG Suena told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

Citing a preliminary survey in the area carried out by the Jakarta Planning Agency, Suena said some must be retained for residential use, while other parts could be used for business purposes.

"We must not ignore dynamic changes in the area, which we hadn't thought about before, such as development along Jl. Wolter Monginsidi, for instance. Otherwise, the changes will get out of hand," Suena added.

South Jakarta Mayor Dadang Kafrawi said on Wednesday that there were 27 locations in the area that had been proposed by businesspeople for conversion to business uses, including Jl. Dharmawangsa, Jl. Wijaya, Jl. Panglima Polim and Jl. Wolter Monginsidi.

If the administration approved the conversion, businesspeople there would be required to pay more tax as a consequence, Suena said.

A field check by the Jakarta Public Order Agency shows that more than 300 homes have been converted into business premises in Kebayoran Baru.

The check was made in an attempt to regularize the status of private homes that are being used for business purposes.

Besides Kebayoran Baru, the administration also aims to prioritize the regularization of converted homes in Pondok Indah, South Jakarta, and in Menteng, Central Jakarta, as residents there have complained of nuisances caused by business activities, including increased traffic congestion and noise.