Interview by Aulia R. Sungkar Photos by Bagus Tri Laksono
Originally published in the 14th anniversary edition of Indonesia Design, Dec 2017
It has been more than four decades since Hendro S. Gondokusumo founded his property company in the early 1970s. He started his venture with construction of housing compound projects of Cilandak Garden Housing in South Jakarta and Darmo Satellite Town in Surabaya. Listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) since 1990, PT Intiland Development Tbk as the parent company has established more subsidiaries and created stronger milestones with both the completion and the current construction of various property products. On one shiny morning, the founder of Intiland shared his views with Indonesia Design about the direction where the company is heading.
What distinguishes Intiland in the property industry after the company has been in the business for over 40 years?
Intiland’s segments and concept in developing property products are what makes us unique in some ways. We also focus on aesthetics in designing each of our projects, particularly high-rise products. We are increasing aesthetic value as part of the city architecture. For more than 40 years, Intiland has developed iconic buildings that become icons of the city, like Intiland Tower in Jakarta and in Surabaya. We have Pantai Mutiara, the first sea canal residence in South East Asia. We have Regatta apartment, and South Quarter, an office complex designed as a sustainable development area. There is also Graha Famili, the first golf-themed residential area in Surabaya.
Intiland has developed various property products, what is the company’s current focused market segmentation?
It all depends on the location, so we don’t specify which market segment we want to focus on. One of our latest projects, 57 Promenade in Thamrin area, is designed for upper class segment. So, the price is much higher compared to our other products, like Talaga Bestari in Tangerang, for example. In the hospitality sector, under our subsidiary Intiwhiz, we are targeting more middleclass segments with developing more budget hotels.
How optimistic are you with the current condition of property industry in the country?
Generally speaking, our property industry has been facing quite tough challenges since the beginning of 2015. Political and security factors, as well as changes in tax regulations are some of the issues that led to such unfavourable condition.
However, I see that the condition has gradually changed with better market confidence, especially in the middle-upper segment.
I also believe the purchasing power is still quite stable. Currently, the property market is in wait-and-see mode; and people in this segment are becoming more selective and eyeing property products with outstanding quality. For us, Intiland sees the lucrative potentials of property scene in big cities, like Jakarta and Surabaya.
How big is the potential in the both cities?
Jakarta as the capital city and the commercial and trading hub surely offers lucrative potential for property development. In Jakarta, due to the city’s limited available lands, high-rise residences are what we focus more. In Surabaya, we are eyeing the city’s potential with more projects under way.
Can you update us with the on-going projects in Surabaya?
After Graha Famili, which we have sold all the land plots; we are in progress with the development of Graha Natura. We are also developing several largescale projects, such as Praxis and Spazio Tower. While the former is a mixed-use development featuring apartment, office, hotel and commercial space; the latter offers office space, retail area and a hotel under the same roof.
Let’s talk about design. Is there any of design trends that has become your favourite?
Not really. I don’t have any particular design taste. I see design more into its aesthetic and functional aspects. Every property that we have developed or we are currently developing has its own design character. The Hamilton, which is the fourth or newest tower in our 1Park Avenue apartment complex, and the new 57 Promenade, both feature contemporary designs boasting comfortable atmosphere that fits for housing modern and premium facilities. Houses in Graha Natura, for instance, are built with tropical themed design to harmonise the estate’s green and nature surroundings.
So, you mean design in a property product should relate to the function of that particular product?
Yes, indeed. A lot of factors but let me give you a couple examples of our projects: South Quarter and Regatta. We have developed South Quarter with premium, futuristic and cotemporary design. We wanted to design a campus concept of an integrated office development. The idea was so the tenants can work, play and dine in the same property. And we now have three towers standing in South Quarter: two for sale and one for lease. Regatta is quite unique. It is designed with nautical theme because of its location by the ocean, so all the towers are named after major city ports. What lies behind naming the towers is because each is orientated towards the cardinal direction of the corresponding city.
How is the competition in the property business?
I think in the property business developers shouldn’t compete with other; developers should, instead, collaborate and complement each other. Let me put this way, if one developer fails in their construction project, this can negatively affect other developers constructing in the same area.
Does Intiland plan to spread its wings into overseas market?
Not yet, but we look forward to expanding our market abroad. Currently, our focus is still in Indonesia. We are on the right track, with more developments, completed and on-going, in Jakarta and Surabaya. We are also set to commence the development of Ngoro Industrial Park 3 next year.