Wed, 24 Sep 2003

New trade center to rise in Senayan

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Another commercial center will soon be constructed on the 40,000- square-meter area of land, originally allocated as a green area and for sporting facilities under the Bung Karno Sport Complex Management (BP GBK), in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

Senayan City -- the name of the project -- will be used for various commercial purposes and include a shopping mall, apartments, office blocks and entertainment centers.

Head of the City Spatial Agency Nurfakhih Wirawan confirmed that his office had approved the project as the land had been designated for commercial purposes by the sports complex management some time ago.

"It is an old project, that was delayed due to the economic crisis of 1997. I have only approved the redesign of the project," Nurfakhih told The Jakarta Post at the City Hall on Tuesday.

Separately, head of the Building Assessment and Supervision Agency Djumhana Tjakrawirja, admitted that the proposal for the project's redesign had been submitted to his office.

Djumhana also said that, in principle, his agency agreed with the proposal, adding that the project would commence this year.

Both Djumhana and Nurfakhih refused to mention the name of the project developer.

Senayan City, to be located on the corner of Jl. Asia Afrika and Jl. Hang Lekir I, in front of Plaza Senayan, would join other controversial constructions in the area, including Plaza Senayan, Hotel Mulia, Century Park hotel, Senayan Trade Center, Central Senayan and Taman Ria Senayan.

The latest data indicates that commercial properties occupy some 74.74 hectares of the total 279 hectares of land controlled by the complex management.

According to BP GBK director for general affairs RHJ Suharto, the management received only Rp 15 billion (US$1.76 million) a year from the development, operation and transfer (BOT) of the 74.74 hectares land, which was very low compared to the price of land in the area, at around Rp 10 million per square meter.

Suharto said that BP GBK had been renting the land to private companies since 1984, when the government no longer allocated funds to the sports complex.

"The result of this cooperation with private companies enables the maintenance of the existing sports venues and the development of new facilities," he argued.

Meanwhile, commercial spaces in the planned Senayan City have been marketed since June of last year.

Environmentalists earlier expressed concern over the conversion of the land from a green space, functioning as the lungs of the city, to a commercial area.

The continuing conversion of Senayan land (for commercial purposes) is contrary to plans to increase the city's green areas from less than 10 percent of Jakarta's 765-square-kilometers to some 13.94 percent.

According to chairman of the Environment Task Force (ETF) Ahmad Syafrudin, the ideal percentage allocated to green areas in the city is around 30 percent.

He said, based on the 1985-2005 city master plan, the land still functions as a green area and for sporting facilities.

But, in the 2010 city master plan, part of the land has been converted from green area into red area, meaning that it can be used as a business center.