The upcoming North Jakarta waterfront project is a milestone for Australian developer Crown Group, which is co-founded by Indonesian-born architect/developer, Iwan Suwito.
For Iwan Suwito, 2018 is a defining year for him – when his dream to build a ‘city within a city’ in Jakarta starts to materialise. In May, Crown Group, the property development company he co-founded in Sydney, signed a joint venture agreement with Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, a public company controlled by the Jakarta provincial government, to develop a Rp7 trillion (AUD700 million) luxury residential development in Ancol area.
Having built up their branding in Indonesia since 2013, the signing ceremony marks the culmination of all their efforts. The residential project is Crown’s first project in Indonesia occupying a 4.7-ha area located near the beach to the west of the Ancol recreational park in North Jakarta.
The project will feature residential towers with waterfront facilities such as a yacht club, waterfront promenade and commercial facilities.
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It is expected to be served by the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit system, which will dramatically cut down traveling time to Central Jakarta to 30 minutes from 2 hours by car currently.
The first phase of the project is set to feature up to 250 premium beachfront units, while the entire complex will be completed in stages over the next five to seven years. The apartments, according to Iwan, is targeted at the growing number of young professionals in the middle to upper- income bracket.
Two other projects are also slated to start in the greater Jakarta area – the Kuningan central business district in South Jakarta and the Alam Sutera township in Tangerang, Banten (as per reports).
‘DREAM COME TRUE’
Speaking to Asian Property Review, Iwan says the Ancol vicinity is exciting due to the prestige of the location and the entertainment facilities which are equivalent to an Indonesian Disneyland.
Saying the development is significantly bigger than what Crown has done in Sydney where it has built
a reputation for consistently ‘disrupting the market’ by introducing new products that are unique in Sydney’s context, for example, the urban resort, ‘Bali in Parramatta’; apartments above a shopping centre and a futuristic tower, Iwan is enthusiastic that their maiden project in Indonesia is the start of bigger things to come for them in Indonesia.
“It’s my dream come true to develop a city in Indonesia,” he describes the move, adding, “This is a special moment for us where we can finally realize our first project outside of Australia.”
The development will be the first in the Ancol area featuring a world class water front living lifestyle, so “Jakarta will have an iconic waterfront development similar with Dubai, Singapore and Sydney”.
Iwan, who is an Indonesian-born architect/developer based in Sydney says: “What excites me most is that following President Jokowi’s reforms, the country is now more transparent, hence attracting young Indonesian talents to remain or return to work; it also attracts international investors who rank Indonesia among the top 5 countries they want to invest within the next few years. I believe we are seeing the next wave of economic boom in Indonesia.” The other 4 countries are the US, Canada, Brazil and Australia.
He adds that the younger generation of Indonesian diaspora globally is not afraid to return to Indonesia to work. “They have the skills, knowledge, international connections and are starting to change the dynamics in Indonesia.”
“There is a new momentum – graduating university students in Indonesia are told they need to evolve and adapt to new ways of doing things. This is the big, big picture.
Iwan also states that Singapore is a strategic hub for them for 3 reasons:
It is a hub for us to go for listing for our Indonesian operations because Singaporeans understand Indonesians better than Australians.
It is also a capital hub – we are partnering with a multinational company based in Singapore for 2 deals in Sydney and then hopefully joint ventures in Indonesia to the tune of AUD3 -5 bil in pipeline projects in Indonesia in the next few years.
Singapore is a major funding place for Crown Group. A Singaporean major bank which we have dealt with previously is part of a consortium of banks including Australian banks which will be funding our projects in Sydney.
Iwan adds that Crown will be focusing on 3 cities in Australia, namely Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; Indonesia and the US, namely downtown Los Angeles. Their products – mainly mid to upper range properties, in the ‘affordable luxury’ category, he explains.
Why LA? “Simply because the nature of downtown LA is very similar to Sydney – there is a diverse community of diaspora populations including many overseas students. We want to build communities centred around work, play, study, shopping, eating, etc- like a village life where everything is centralised.”
According to reports, Crown plans to invest a total of Rp23.3 trillion (AUD2.2 bil) in the 3 countries over the next two years.