Minggu, 04/11/2007

Competing for the Kemang Icon

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Competing for the Kemang Icon

AT A GLANCE, the Kemang area in South Jakarta resembles Bali’s Kuta neighborhood. Hundreds of cafes, entertainment spots, and small scale shopping centers stand along the street in the area notorious for awful traffic jams during rush hours. You cannot even dream to drive conveniently in the area on the weekend.

Since the early 1980s, Kemang has become a magnet for many people, particularly expatriates intending to live in South Jakarta. Like Pondok Indah, the area has rapidly become a premium residential location in South Jakarta. Numerous houses are rent to expatriates with the rates ranging from US$2,000 to US$4,000 per month.

The house owners decide to move to other houses outside Kemang. In the second semester of 1980, when developers began to introduce alternative living places, apartments started to show a strong presence in Kemang and nearby areas. Residences such as Apartemen Kemang (PT Pudjiadi Prestige Tbk.) and Apartemen Taman Kemang (Jaya Group) are located in Kemang, while Apartemen Paradiso and Apartemen Kintamani are situated on Jl. Pangeran Antasari. Jl Prapanca boasts its Apartemen Prapanca.

There had been almost no new apartments built in Kemang since then. But, in mid-2000, when the apartment property market boomed, the area recaptured developers’s attention. PT Cemara Namduanta, for instance, started operating the Oktori Plaza in 2003. Offering very limited units, the exclusive serviced apartment has already recorded monthly occupancy rate above 85%. Other high-class residences have followed suit, including Kemang Icon on Jl. Kemang Raya. Due to higher occupancy rate of serviced apartments and shrinking stock of rent houses in Kemang—since many houses were sold for cafes and entertainment spots—developers have deciced to expand in the area.

Taking the business seriously, in early 2006 PT Pudjiadi Prestige launched Marbella Kemang Residence, a two-tower apartment with 22 floors comprising 517 units. The company is reported to have seen frenzied buying since the prices are in the range of Rp300 million-Rp1.5 billion per unit. “The sale price of a middle-sized house in Kemang has reached billions of rupiah.

The sale price of a unit in Marbella starts from Rp300 million and the market is quite responsive,” President Director of PT Pudjiadi Prestige Tbk. Kosmian Pudjiadi said. New property developer Loemongga Haoemasan follows suit after being astonished by the business prospect in Kemang. She directs PT Asiana Lintas Ciptakemang to develop Nirvana Kemang Residence on Jalan Kemang Raya.

The strata-titled apartments adopting the boutique residence concept on 3,600 m2 of land are sold in the range of Rp2 billion-Rp8 billion for its penthouse unit. With a total construction size of 21,213 m2, Nirvana plans to construct a 14-storey building, where a floor is for the lobby, two basement floors for park space and the rest for apartment units. Each floor comprises 4 apartment units. On the market absorption issue, Haoemasan said that she was very optimistic about the condominium market in Kemang. “Currently, the sales have reached 90%. We see higher sales figure, because we offer condominiums, not merely a common residences but high-end boutique residences that are well suited for the market in Kemang. Most buyers are end users wanting to live in an exclusive place in a prestiguous residential area,” she said.

In East Kemang, PT Wahana Jala Karya has developed Kemang Kolonie consisting of only 16 condominium units priced at Rp1.9 billion-Rp2.4 billion per unit. Managing Director of PT Wahana Jala Karya, Prihadi Kari, said that at present only 2 units are left unsold. “Nearly all or around 90% of our condominium units have been sold,” he said. Property tycoon Sugianto Kesuma’s Agung Sedayu Group, which has developed and applied the one-stop-living concept for its projects such as Kelapa Gading Square, Mangga Dua Square, and Dharmawangsa Square, has also shown its interest in the Kemang area this year. The company has built the Mansion at Kemang on 7,000 m2 of land owned by Bob Sadino’s Kem Chicks.

The offered unit prices of the Mansion at Kemang are in the range of Rp1.6 billion-Rp4.5 billion. To attract potential consumers, the developers offered generous credit facility without interest and down payment. Of 130 condominium units launched since four months ago, some 60% have been absorped by the market. Lippo Group follows suit. In the first quarter of 2007 the business group launched prestiguous superblock property project Kemang Village on 12.5 hectres of land, where it has developed condominiums, a five-star hotel, a hospital, a school, a world class shopping center, and a helipad. The invesment for the project amounts to US$880 million or approximately Rp8 trillion.

Lippo has built 7 towers housing 1.500 units. In the first phase the it constructed 3 towers namely The Ritz, The Cosmopolitan, and The Empire. They are sold in the range of Rp800 million-Rp2.3 billion per unit. According to Jessy Quantero, Director of Kemang Village, Lippo is quite optimistic about the future of Kemang Village, thanks to positive prospect of sales. “Since July 2007 we have offered 700 units and 70% of them were eventually sold. We will commence the construction of 3 other towers next year,” she told. All the apartment units in Kemang Village are strata-titled and none of them were allocated for serviced apartment. “All units are strata titled. We consider that our consumers buy apartments for investment,” Jessy said.

This policy will inevitably influence the rent apartment management in the Kemang area. Besides hunting for highly desired location and competitive rent rates, tenants will also consider the facility completeness factor, a requirement Kemang Village has fulfilled. Lippo’s property investment in Kemang will accelerate the tranformation of Kemang to a global village in 2-3 years. The bell for competition to build the Kemang icon starts ringing this year and the market will decide the winner. (Deddy H. Pakpahan)