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Natalia Kusumo Encourages to Work, Live, and Play at PIK 2

Natalia Kusumo, CEO of Amantara
Natalia Kusumo, CEO of Amantara

PIK 2 is causing a buzz amongst Jakartans.

CEO of Amantara Natalia Kusumo is the woman behind the establishment. Indonesia Expat chatted with Kusumo about how her simple vision to create a paradise by incorporating the area’s natural resources in making it a favoured destination, not only for Jakartans but also for visitors from abroad.

Please share with us about yourself and your work.

I’m Natalia, the CEO of Amantara, a subsidiary of Agung Sedayu Group. Every day, my team and I brainstorm on ways to make PIK 2 a choice destination, from entertainment and food hubs to cultural venues and so many more.

Born in Singapore, I spent 16 years there until I went to the US to study Hotel Administration at Cornell University and eventually worked in the US for about six years. Sometimes, I find myself like an expat in a way since I’ve never really lived in Indonesia before and came with a pair of fresh eyes. I’ve only been here for the past four years.

My vision is to create destinations that make people feel they’re in paradise, which has motivated me to drive myself and my team to develop conceptual sites. Reflecting on my past experiences, with my studies and being a globetrotter, I hope to bring those experiences to Indonesia.

Tell us the story behind the development of PIK 2; the inspiration, concept, and projects.

PIK 2 is geographically located off the Jakarta coast, having many natural elements enrich the area. Moreover, we also have the Golf Island and Riverwalk Islands between PIK 2 and PIK 1. Being here exudes a different vibe; the sun shines brighter; the air seems clearer. I’m very blessed to be in this location as it’s fundamentally supporting us to create many interesting concepts.

We always start by examining the existing environment and taking inspiration from the seaside location to get a sense of the concept. So far, Pantjoran PIK, Cove at Batavia PIK, and Urban Farm PIK are open to the public.

Cove at Batavia PIK
Cove at Batavia PIK

Cove at Batavia PIK, for example, was brought forward during the pandemic. We were constantly studying how people behaved during the pandemic to figure out how we can conceptualise an idea to fit their desires. We realised that people just want to feel like they’re somewhere else, escaping from the bustle of Jakarta and into a very relaxing place.

Whenever people visit Cove at Batavia PIK, they think they’ve jetted on a plane to some other city like Santorini or Miami. There’s a phinisi boat that we’ve revamped into a dining space. One of our partners actually made it for his wife but she didn’t like it and so the boat was offered to us! No such concept in Jakarta exists, making this phinisi boat iconic to Cove.

Pantjoran PIK was originally meant to gather all the best foods in Jakarta in one area. As we progressed, heritage came to mind. I felt that, upon my arrival in Jakarta, there weren’t tons of places showcasing and embracing heritage. At Pantjoran PIK’s Phase Two compound, the architecture resembles Jembatan Lima because we don’t want to have a Chinatown from a foreign territory for the public. We aspire to preserve the Chinese heritage that Indonesia already has.

Following this heritage concept, we’re currently constructing Batavia PIK. Previously known as San Antonio, we decided to change its name to Batavia to pay tribute to the history of Jakarta which was once known as Batavia. Batavia is uniquely Indonesian; you won’t be able to find it elsewhere. It could also be more sustainable in terms of business as people are more familiar with it. This is an amazing opportunity to showcase innovation through culture, both domestically and even internationally.

Having been to PIK 2, there’s a different ambience, as if not being in Jakarta, especially with the open spaces highlighted. Why is it important for you to emphasise that?

Considering people’s fundamental desire to be outside and interact with nature, I don’t wish my friends and even myself to be limited to the option of merely going from one air-conditioned space to another. Even before COVID, Jakartans needed more experiences rather than going to malls. I wish people could go out and interact with nature more like in the US and Singapore. It’s not something I often witness here.

PIK has the luxury of space. However, a mall could exist beyond buildings. Urban Farm PIK is a classic example; we simply plant trees and accentuate the food and beverage outlets for people to walk freely outdoors.

Urban Farm
Urban Farm
With vast hectares of land in the PIK 2 area offering countless business, leisure, and residential facilities to Indonesians and expats, what project are you personally most excited about?

My personal favourite is Orange Groves PIK 2, which is currently under construction. Usually, I get inspiration from overseas but the pandemic has hindered travelling. Pondering into my memories, a favourite blissful one popped up: visiting Sicily, Italy with my friend. We stayed in a hotel that was amongst orange groves. Imagine hectares of orange groves which have been held in the family estate for a long time – truly an amazing place.

Orange Groves
Orange Groves

It started from a philosophy of wanting people to feel free and peaceful, just as I did in Sicily while simultaneously creating blissful memories. Imagine Singapore’s Botanical Garden, New York’s Central Park, or a park in general. Orange Groves PIK 2 is a retail compound within the Greenbelt area of PIK 2 – everywhere you go, you’ll be surrounded and embraced by a park, right beside the now widened and swim-friendly Tahang River. I can picture children playing in the plaza, adults dining at a restaurant, then strolling along the riverside, and closing off the night by singing and dancing in the lounge. The Indonesian triathlon trains routinely there!

I reckon it’s a very special place for many people, including myself – it’s my favourite spot aside from White Sand Beach at PIK 2. I like to visit it at around 4-5pm to catch the sunset reflecting picturesquely on the water and the soothing weather embracing my body, as birds are chirping and glimpses of fishes appear. This can be a great site for people to hang out and live while experiencing nature.

Green Belt
Green Belt area of PIK 2
Jakarta is reportedly sinking. With various projects continuously developing, how does Agung Sedayu Group mitigate this concern?

Rising sea levels aren’t merely occurring in Indonesia but also in the Maldives and The Netherlands. Thus PIK follows the Polder System executed in The Netherlands.

It’s a simple system. Think of the land as a bowl and outside of the bowl is the ocean. The bowl’s edges are called dykes. If you were to go to Cove, the dykes are set at a higher level than the driveway. Plus, there are lots of lakes at PIK 2. Rainwater will be stored in the lakes, cleared, and then pumped off the land.

Do you think PIK will become a world tourism destination? Why?

Our vision is for PIK to put Jakarta on the map as a world tourism destination since the city has many resources and potential. Specifically in PIK, we can offer many things aside from infrastructure. White Sand Beach will become a sought-out destination and even now, when there’s not much going on at the beach, lots of people had visited before its temporary closure.

Each project is hopefully leading us towards the roadmap of becoming a world tourism destination consisting of heritage, food and beverage outlets, and entertainment venues that are all attractive elements. Furthermore, PIK is conveniently 20 minutes away from the airport.

What can expats do at PIK 2?

I often suggest to my friends who come from overseas to stay a few nights in our hotels; Swissôtel Jakarta PIK Avenue, Mercure Jakarta Pantai Indah Kapuk, or Oakwood Apartments PIK Jakarta, because to fully experience PIK requires more than a day.

Foodies can go anywhere as there are endless food and beverage outlets to dig into. If you’re fond of nature, visit the Mangrove Ecotourism Centre PIK. Sea seekers can go to the White Sand Beach to relax and have a Pina Colada. Heritage enthusiasts can go to Pantjoran PIK and Batavia PIK to learn more about Indonesian history. And for fashionistas, By the Sea PIK is a retail compound that focuses mainly on local, homegrown fashion brands.

Pantjoran PIK
Pantjoran PIK

Have a holiday here. Perhaps if PIK engraves a special place in your heart, rent a property and an office space. You can work, live and play all at PIK.

What’s next for Natalia and the development at PIK 2?

Hopefully, the development progress goes well this year, leading up to more recreational and entertainment options. The White Sand Beach at PIK 2 will be further elevated by the time it reopens, Batavia PIK’s first phase is opening at the end of 2022, and Orange Groves PIK 2 is set to open in the first quarter of 2023.

As for me? I’d want to maybe spend less time eating in Pantjoran PIK and spend more time running at the beach.

Kusumo at the Opening Ceremony of Orange Groves
Kusumo at the Opening Ceremony of Orange Groves
How can our readers stay updated?

Follow us on Instagram @agungsedayugroupofficial, @pik2official, @asg.publicrelations, @eventpik, @golfislandupdateofficial, @coveatbataviapik, @pantjoranpik, @bytheseapik, @orangegrovespik, @batavia.pik, and @urbanfarmpik.

Thank you, Natalia. Stay safe and healthy!

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