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One of Indonesia's biggest diversified conglomerates, the Lippo Group, topped off two apartment towers for its ambitious and controversial Meikarta megaproject on Sunday (29/10). The topping off ceremony is a sign that - despite some legal uncertainties - the project will continue as planned and not face the same fate as the land reclamation project in the bay off the coast of North Jakarta.
Previously, there occurred some commotion surrounding the Meikarta project as the project developers may not have obtained all necessary permits from local authorities to start building the project. Meanwhile, not all land that is required for the whole project has been acquired. Therefore, several institutions advised consumers not to purchase property (yet) at Meikarta.
On the other hand, several central government officials have expressed their support for the Meikarta project as it is a great example of (much-needed) private investment in Indonesia that causes the multiplier effect to kick in. Moreover, the Meikarta project perfectly fits the central government's plan to create a massive urban area between Jakarta and Bandung in West Java. Indonesia's Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, Luhut Panjaitan, attended the topping out ceremony.
Meikarta is located next to the toll road that connects Indonesia's capital of Jakarta to Bandung. It is also located close to several new industrial townships, such as Lippo Cikarang, Jababeka and MM2100, hence its location is strategic.
Based on its blueprint, Meikarta will see the construction of more than 200 apartment towers, 250,000 units of residential property and 1.5 million square meters of commercial space. In total the project will have 200 skyscrapers across an area of 22 million m2, including office towers, apartments, hospital, universities and shopping malls.
Regarding legal uncertainties, many big projects in Indonesia face such problems as the rules, regulations and laws at the three levels of governance (central government, province and village) are not always in harmony. Or, there exists a vacuum in the law. This situation started after decentralization kicked in after the demise of the Suharto regime in the late 1990s.
The two Meikarta towers that were topped off over the weekend contain a total of 900 apartment units. Ketut Budi Wijaya, President Director of Meikarta, said the ceremony marks the beginning of the development of a new satellite city. Both towers are, combined, worth IDR 1 trillion (approx. USD $74 million) and are located in - what will become - Meikarta's central business district. The developers will continue straight away building the next towers. Fifty towers should be ready for occupation by December 2018.