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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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JOTRC seals deal to transform Kota Tua into art, education hub

  • Corry Elyda

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, April 1, 2015 | 06:12 am
JOTRC seals deal to transform Kota Tua into art, education hub


The effort to revitalize Jakarta'€™s Kota Tua has entered a new phase following the signing ceremony of rent agreement between the Jakarta Old Town Revitalization Corporation (JOTRC) and state-owned trading company PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (PPI), the owner of several buildings in the area.

JOTRC CEO Lin Che Wei said after the signing ceremony on Tuesday that his consortium would revitalize and manage nine old buildings owned by the PPI, for 20 years.

'€œAfter 20 years, the buildings that have been renovated will be returned to the PPI,'€ he said.

Lin said his corporation'€™s long-term plan targeted the revitalization of 27 buildings in Kota Tua, located in West and North Jakarta. Most were in dire condition.

'€œWe will revitalize them and enliven the area with various activities,'€ he said.

Lin added that for the renovation of the PPI'€™s buildings alone, the JOTRC would need around Rp 120 billion (US$9.24 million).

Lin said one third of them were in good condition while the others had not been maintained.

'€œWe'€™re targeting to complete the restoration in 1.5 to 2 years,'€ he said.

He said one of the buildings owned by the PPI was named Kolff and Co., the first bookstore in Indonesia.

'€œThe building was built in 1848. It used to be a center of knowledge but now, there'€™s only ruins left,'€ he said, adding that the JOTRC, a consortium of several companies, planned to change the building into a library and printing company.

Lin explained, meanwhile, that the PPI'€™s buildings on Jl. Malaka 7 and 9 would be converted into a campus for the Jakarta Arts Institute (IKJ)

'€œThe city administration will rent the buildings and give them to IKJ to be used as a campus,'€ he said.

Lin also pointed to the Rotterdam Lloyd building, which was built in the 1930s. '€œWe will turn the building into an art deco building with art and travel themes,'€ he said.

Meanwhile, the Tjipta Niaga building would be an art center, he went on.

Lin said the revitalization project involved top architects like Andra Matin, Yori Antar and Ichsan Harja Nugraha.

'€œWe have completed the concept and design,'€ Lin said.

Besides renting the buildings to the JOTRC, the PPI had the opportunity to be further involved in Kota Tua'€™s revitalization, added Lin.

One example of this involvement, he went on, was managing food stalls in one of the buildings.

Lin said he appreciated the PPI'€™s cooperation. '€œIt would have been more lucrative for the PPI to cooperate with other entities, for example convenience stores.'€

He added, however, that so far the company had yet to unveil any plan to get involved and had given the JOTRC discretion to develop Kota Tua.

According to Lin, the biggest challenge to revitalizing Kota Tua was preserving its history while optimizing business opportunities.

PPI president director Wahyu Suparyono said the rent agreement with the JOTRC was a breakthrough for the company.

'€œThis is the sign of the firm'€™s creativity in aiming to optimize its assets,'€ he said.

According to Wahyu, the PPI had around 500 assets in 33 locations across the country worth Rp 1.67 trillion. '€œSome have been managed well but 60 percent are idle,'€ he said.

He added that those in Kota Tua covered a plot of 11,438-square meters of land, worth nearly Rp 200 billion.

Wahyu said the cooperation was not only about business for the PPI, but was also about preserving the area'€™s cultural heritage.

Kota Tua has been nominated as Indonesia'€™s representative for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List of significant cultural and natural sites.

In April last year, the JOTCR signed an agreement with state port operator Pelindo II or the IPC, in which the IPC agreed to become a founding member of the JOTRC.

The IPC plans to finance the revitalization of Sunda Kelapa Port in North Jakarta.