Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jakarta City wants its own Orchard Road

The Jakarta administration plans to transform South Jakarta's Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio, popularly known as Jl. Casablanca, into a "huge business district" comprising shopping centers and giant retailers.

Governor Fauzi Bowo said Tuesday the administration would develop the area to resemble Singapore's Orchard Road.

"The administration will make Jl. Satrio, which connects Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said (South Jakarta) to Jl. Jendral Sudirman (Central Jakarta), a shopping and giant retailer hub," he said at City Hall.

"The area and Orchard Road will share some characteristics," he added.

Fauzi also said the administration was studying the feasibility of the plan but was yet to estimate the development costs.

He said the administration would not work alone to develop the area. "We will invite the private sector to contribute to the plan as investors."

The area already has two shopping centers: Ambasador Mall and Kuningan International Trade Center (ITC). France-based giant retailer Carrefour operates inside the ITC. Manhattan Hotel and Kuningan City are also in the area.

"We also plan to develop the idle land in the Mega Kuningan area for more shopping centers and giant retailers in the foreseeable future," he said.

"It will be perfect for any kind of business as it's the only place that offers business-friendly features in Jakarta," he added.

Fauzi also said the administration would improve pedestrian facilities in the area. Currently, only the part near Mega Kuningan has a pedestrian facility. Other parts have poor sidewalks, preventing people from walking.

"We will also make the area environmentally friendly by creating 8 to 10-meter-wide pedestrian lanes along the street, like Singapore has done on Orchard Road," he said.

As a consequence, the administration would reroute the street's traffic, or build elevated roads, he said.

"There will also be a traffic circle near Jl. Karet Pedurenan designed to reroute the traffic," said Fauzi.

"We will also build a passage for passersby to cross the street, should it be necessary. It may be an underpass or a bridge," he said.

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