The Jakarta Post
Despite the ever expanding number of malls in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is apparently not the "City of Shopping Malls". Dubai, with a total of 76 malls in 2010, could be the first contender, followed closely by various cities in India like Delhi, Gurgaon and Bangalore.
Shopping malls have transformed from literally the fruit of consumerism into something more complex in recent years. While more and more malls are becoming the norm in Jakarta, with various stores clustered in one spot, a smaller number has turned into favorite weekend destinations, with people dressing up not necessarily to buy anything.
There are now places where people can spend time with family to relax, be it at a giant bookstore or a karaoke hall, watch a concert or a jazz performance in one area, enjoy culinary delights at established restaurants, do various sports like jogging and ice skating and see blockbuster movies within an integrated theater. Dubai Emirates Mall, for example, houses the world's third largest indoor ski slope, measuring 400 meters with 6,000 tons of snow.
Jakarta will see another giant mall this year, competing with the likes of Plaza Indonesia and the integrated eX, Plaza Senayan, Grand Indonesia and Mall Kelapa Gading.
The 301,374-square-meter Gandaria City shopping mall, located within the biggest superblock yet in South Jakarta, Gandaria City superblock, is scheduled to open its doors to the public on July 2nd.
With the major construction to finish very soon, the project has received a Green Mark from Singapore for its architectural botanical concept, in addition to many green features that are expected to reduce its carbon footprint. The mall is not expected to have any negative impacts on air quality or traffic in the surrounding area as there will be direct tunnel access to its parking areas from Jl. KHM Syafi'I Hadzami and four direct accesses from different streets.
There will be about 500 tenants within the five-story shopping mall, ranging from Metro Department Store, Studio XXI, Ace Hardware, Toyland to T-Rex karaoke. One zone in the mall, named Mainstreet, will be a 30,000-square-meter food and beverage site with the old city of Batavia as its reference.
Developed by the Pakuwon Group, Gandaria City is aimed at becoming an excellent, one-stop shopping and service-oriented mall that combines the features of a prestigious shopping mall and lifestyle themes.
The group held a gathering on April 28, 2010, attended by tenants and representatives of the Pakuwon Group. With construction in the area to come to an end, in which buildings include the 36-story Ganda Ria 8 office tower, two Gandaria Heights towers of condominiums and an internationally operated, 300-room five-star Gandaria City Hotel, Gandaria City is one development that will help change the face of Jakarta and turn it into a megapolitan city, while the idea of a "city of shopping malls" can wait a little bit longer.