Meikarta apartment buildings under construction on Sept. 14. (BeritaSatu Photo/Primus Dorimulu)

Development Continues Apace at Meikarta


SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

Cikarang, West Java. The sun went down to produce a brilliant sunset, with beautiful red and orange colors that dissipate only slowly. As darkness took over, bright lights streamed from many half-completed apartment buildings. Traffic got heavier on nearby roads and loud music was heard from the Cinemaxx hall.

That was the scene in District I of the Meikarta integrated township project in Cikarang, West Java, on a Saturday evening. Cars and motorcycles sped through two busy wide roads, while the parking area was fully occupied. No empty tables were left at the lobbies of the movie theater Cinemaxx and coffee shop Maxx Coffee. Visitors sat smiling and laughing, enjoying their meals and drinks while watching live music. Snacks and drinks flowed from the ground floor of a brand new apartment building in Block 53022.

"It's always busy every night," Hetty Suwitomo, a Meikarta saleswoman, said. The live bands play every night from 7 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and stay on later on Saturday nights. All the latest box office hits, both local and Hollywood fares, are played on wide screens at the Cinemaxx.

A shopping center is open in newly-born Meikarta city, Cikarang, Bekasi, West, Java, Sept. 14, 2019. (Beritasatu Photo/Primus Dorimulu)
A shopping center at the newly opened Meikarta township in Cikarang, West Java, on Sept. 14. (BeritaSatu Photo/Primus Dorimulu)

A golf car took us to a lake in a spacious area called Central Park where we could see a number of apartments that had been completed. "Next time, take your family here, come earlier before 4 p.m.," Hetty advised us. Hetty said the area is open to the public from around 3 p.m. and is always crowded with visitors not only from nearby Bekasi and Jakarta, but also from other cities in West Java, Banten, Central Java and even East Java.

The lakeside area is a favorite place for families to sit around, relax, do a bit of exercise or just breathe the fresh air. A children's playground right next to the lake is a perfect place for kids to play while their parents enjoy the scenery. 

The large crowd also creates business opportunities. Local residents make a tidy income selling food and drinks to visitors. "We've benefited greatly from the Meikarta project," said a woman who sells snacks and drinks near the lake. She said she could earn up to Rp 3 million ($210) every day, with Rp 500,000 in profit.

The 25-hectare lake is one of the main attractions in Meikarta's Central Park. The developer also plans to build a botanical garden and a zoo. Each of them will also take up an area of 25 hectares. The remaining space around the lake will be kept open for sporting activities, as a meeting point and a playground. There will also be a culinary center involving local communities.

Meikarta's developer has intensified construction work at the township to fulfill its commitment to customers. In District I, four of the targeted 28 towers have been completed. The already busy ground floor now features banks, restaurants, retail shops, a Cinemaxx and a Maxx Coffee.

"We work nonstop 24 hours a day to make sure that the 56 apartment buildings can be handed over to our customers according to schedule," Meikarta's chief marketing officer Lilies Surjono said.

Lilies said the 56 towers are located in District 1 and District 2, and each will have 28 apartment buildings. 

"We are building 56 towers at once, but priority is given to District 1," she said.



Meikarta aims to complete the 56 towers in District 1 and District 2 by the end of 2020, providing a whopping number of 22,500 residential units. The developer said 65 percent of these units have already been sold.

"We expect to sell the rest within the next 18 to 21 months," she said.

Next month, Meikarta will top off two new towers, after opening four towers on Aug. 17, which also marked the second anniversary of the project. These six buildings are located in District 1. Meikarta will hand over four apartment buildings in Block 53022 and 50023 to customers in December.

"The next handover ceremonies for the other towers will be held simultaneously," Lilies said.

Lilies said demand for apartments at Meikarta continues to rise. Once hesitant customers have decided to go through with their purchases. They have even formed a special group to share information among themselves.

"Two weeks ago, Meikarta offered special residential units with a smart living concept. In just a week, we sold 40 studios at Rp 198 million each," Lilies said.



A similar offering was advertised in the Indonesia International Property Expo hosted by Real Estate Indonesia (REI) at the Jakarta Convention Center yesterday.

Lilies said key public facilities and infrastructures are already in place in the new township. "Meikarta is now a fully-fledged entertainment center and culinary center, just like Avenue of the Stars in Kemang Village [in South Jakarta]," Lilies said.

Initiated by the Lippo Group with a fantastic investment of Rp 278 trillion, Meikarta is set to become a modern city of international scale. It is located bang in the middle of the busy Jakarta-Bandung business route, surrounded by other reputable satellite cities such as Lippo Cikarang, Jababeka and MM2100.

The area is also home to a manufacturing center that produces more than one million cars, 10 million motorcycles and also millions of refrigerators, television sets and housewares every year. Thousands of national and multinational companies have their production bases here, employing millions of workers.

Meikarta will build 200 skyscrapers of 35-46 floors each, seven malls, several international hospitals, an international financial center, 10 five-star hotels, a national library, an art building, three universities and dozens of international schools, an international exhibition building and a so-called Indonesia's Silicon Valley.



Meikarta's head of sales Ferry Thahir said the construction works are making extraordinary progress. Normally, it takes three to four years to build an apartment tower, but Meikarta commenced building 28 towers at once and within two years four of them have been completed.

Meikarta was launched two years ago on Aug. 17, Indonesia's Independence Day. "Property prices kept rising between 2014 and 2016. We noticed there was little [in the housing market] that was available for middle- to lower-income house buyers. Meikarta was launched on Independence Day in 2017 in hopes that more people would be able to buy houses at more affordable prices," Ferry said.



The Jakarta Globe is affiliated with the Lippo Group.