Oxley’s big dreams for Batam

Homegrown developer Oxley is chasing big dreams in Batam.

It is building the 20,000 sq m Oxley Convention City, which will house a convention hall and five towers – one for offices, three for residences and the other for a hotel.

Oxley executive chairman and chief executive Ching Chiat Kwong told a briefing in Batam late last month that “this is a huge development, it does have certain risk and it does involve a lot of cash commitment from the developer to make sure it works”.

But he added that “Oxley is about dreams”.

“Without a dream, Oxley would not have gone to Indochina, Europe and South-east Asia,” Mr Ching said, referring to the projects in London, Dublin and Cambodia.

Oxley officially launched the first phase of the Batam project – in the financial district – last Saturday.

It comprises an office tower with 320 units, a 520-room hotel, and a retail and food and beverage area with 130 units. There will also be three 32-storey residential towers, housing a combined 1,635 units, from studios to penthouses. Oxley deputy chief executive Eric Low said construction of the project will begin after the first quarter of next year, with a target of 36 months for completion. The company will build in phases, based on demand, he added. Mr Ching said the development’s “first priority” is to cater to the domestic Indonesian market, with marketing to be done in cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya.

Oxley joins a spate of developers that have ventured into Batam in recent years.

In June, luxury developer Tuan Sing announced a joint venture with private Singapore firm Habitat Properties to turn an 85ha site in Marina City into a resort-style development, comprising hotels and close to 2,000 apartments.

It will also have Mice (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) facilities as well as retail and tourist attractions. Singapore-listed Sinarmas Land has said it will launch between 150 and 200 apartments and landed housing units by the end of this year at its 228ha Nuvasa Bay project. Mr Ching said Oxley’s market research shows that Batam hosts many conventions, so undertaking a large development for its first venture on the island looks viable. He added that “Batam as a free trade zone is under-utilised”.

The company wants to boost business there, aiming to draw international companies to the office tower.

“We feel that an integrated development like this, that includes residential, hotel and retail, will help a lot of small businesses and established businesses to rethink their strategy of using Batam as a base for future business expansion, or creating a new business space in Batam,” Mr Ching said.

“We see Batam as a long-term target for Oxley so we want to do the best first project here. If we can do very well, we believe we will continue to do more projects in Batam.”

Separately, Oxley announced on Monday that its 32-storey Oxley Tower at 138 Robinson Road has received its temporary occupation permit. It said the top three floors will be used as its corporate office with relocation expected in the first half of next year.

Oxley added that it had sold all the units.

It will be able to reduce up to $211 million of the project’s debt through payment from the buyers.

  • 20,000 Number of sq m that Oxley Convention City will occupy.
  • 320 Number of units in the office tower.
  • 520 Number of housing units, from studios to penthouses.
  • 130 Number of hotel rooms.
  • 1,635 Number of units in retail and food and beverage.
  • 36 Number of months work on project is expected to take.

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