November 28, 2008

Candra Naya Rise From Apparent Death?

Translated from, an article written by Pradaningrum Mijarto

Remember Candra Naya building? An old building was built in 1807 that 'forced' to stick out between semi finished buildings—hotel, apartment, and shopping center—though its unclear fate. More than a decade the building as if old piles and in apparent death.

In about 2003 there was a strong rumor said that the elder building will be move to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII). Many people refused that plan. Sutiyoso, the former Governor of Jakarta at that time, decided that the building shalt not be move. Although at the last Candra Naya was not move, its condition still not changed.

Sin Ming Hui a.k.a. Candra Naya is the last building of three large ancient chinese architectural buildings at Gajah Mada street, West Jakarta. The others two buildings were Ex-Tiong Hoa Siang Hwee (Chinese Chamber of Commerse) building which is now become a SMAN 2 (public highschool building); and ex-China Embassy. They were stand close together.

In 1992, by descent of Khouw Kim An—grandson of Candra Naya founder, Khouw Teng Sek—that building complex were sold to developer who want to built apartment on that land. Two years later, the new owner of the building, Modern Group, bringdown all buildings around the main building and left it alone. Then they begin to develop a modern concrete building.

Suddenly monetary crisis strike Indonesia very hard in 1997. The development stopped. Modern Grup tycoon, Samadikun Hartono, getting mixed up with Bantuan Likuiditas Bank Indonesia (BLBI) corruption case. Consequently the old chinese architectural building of Chandra Naya getting more misery.

After fell to apparent death for a long time, now that building complex looks cheerful again. The unfinished project now being continued by PT Wismatama Propertindo. One hotel and two StarCity apartment buildings ready to standing around Candra Naya building.

A couple times ago CEO of PT Wismatama Propertindo, Herbert Ie, promised that the project will always considering the genuineness conservation and existence of that heritage building. Just for information, Candra Naya guarded by several regulations and laws. Like Monumenten Ordonnatie Staatsblad Number 238/1931; UU (decree) Number 5/1974; UU Number 4/1982; Keppres (presidential decree) Number 44/1974; and Educational and Cultural Minister Decree Number 0128/M/1998. In Governor Decree Number 475/1993 also stated clearly that all heritage, including historical building must be protected.

From Warta Kota observation, Candra Naya building now looks more clean and more dressed up, ready coming to life, as a restaurant or anything. Although the access door locked and signed "No Entrance", the building looks un-depressed anymore

According to marketing & promotion dept. of PT Wismatama Propertindo, the entire original Candra Naya building, either in the middle or on its two sides—which is parted off in teens years ago—will be restore to its previous and properly condition. ”We will make several restaurants in there,” says Danu from promotion dept. Well, we just wait and hope that Jakarta Government will not cheated again like before.

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