INVOLVED in various development projects of the Agung Podomoro Group (APG) since 1999, Veri Y. Setiady has taken the lead at Central Park Mall. Part of the 22-hectare Podomoro City, Central Park is a mixed-use development that sits on 9 hectares of land with a total construction of 655,000 square meters hosting three apartment towers, an office building, a four-star hotel and a shopping mall.
Opened on Sept. 9 this year, the mall targets middle- to high-class society. Central Park Mall has an ecological theme inspired by Indonesia’s tropical nature. The mall’s indoor and outdoor surroundings stimulate the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, all of which give visitors a sense of nature while shopping. “Visitors can sense the natural vibrancy of our five senses through the mall’s alluring sights, energizing ambience, soothing sounds and natural charming venue in a breezy landscape surrounded by plants,” Veri explained.
With most of the total leasable area of 115,000 square-meters now occupied, the presence of Central Park Mall adds to Jakarta’s array of shopping malls. “Coupled with Jakarta’s wealth in retail outlets, it would not be impossible to develop the city into a popular shopping destination in Asia,” Veri asserted.
Looking at today’s better quality of local products and the availability of more foreign brands at affordable prices, Veri is optimistic that Indonesia can compete with neighboring countries. “But we need to have an innovative concept and strong image to catch up with neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia.”
In addition to holding the top position at Central Park Mall, Veri is also the director of another APG mixed-use development, Senayan City. Opened in 2004, Senayan City is one of the icons in modern shopping malls and lifestyle in Indonesia. “The image is the fruit of outstanding service, excellent quality of goods and good relations with customers and tenants,” Veri said.
Owing to the improved economy, the increasing number of malls in big cities nationwide is followed by a higher demand in retail business. In turn, retailers – ranging from restaurants and coffee shops to fashion and entertainment centers – come up with their creatively own innovative business concepts.
Veri is aware that in many cases a retailer needs to follow trends when creating an innovative concept. For example, the growing number of sports clubs, restaurants and entertainment centers in big cities has prompted many retailers to operate in malls rather than have a standalone outlet.
“A mall is no longer a place just to shop, but to indulge in a one-stop lifestyle. Aside from shopping, you can dine at a restaurant, exercise at a gym or even dance the night away at a club,” explained Veri, whose interests include sports and music.
As a means of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Veri works out at a gym three times a week. He also enjoys playing tennis and swimming. Music is another pastime of his. He listens to all musical genres, from classical music to pop.
Veri is also keen on learning about different cultures and socializing with people from various races and backgrounds. He often frequents a coffee shop, which has become a trend. People go to coffee shops for various reasons: to meet up with friends and colleagues, to relax after work or to work on assignments.
Apart from the menu itself, facilities such as Wi-Fi connection, cozy interior, comfortable sofas and friendly atmosphere are what most people look for when visiting a coffee shop. “This trend contributes to the growing number of coffee shop like Starbucks and J.CO donuts, most of which are in malls,” he says.
The bachelor’s degree in architecture and planning from Trisakti University that Veri earned in September 1992 led to his career in property development. After years of wrestling at various property companies, Veri eventually found his comfort zone at APG, the giant where he has contributed his expertise for a decade.
Despite his contribution to both Central Park and Senayan City, Veri also runs one of APG’s apartments. He is the executive director of The Peak at Sudirman, Jakarta’s tallest twin tower residential apartment. Being very dedicated to his work, Veri said that he often works on the weekend but still finds time to workout at the gym and travel.
Veri enjoys sightseeing and has visited many countries. Dubai and Tokyo are among his favorite destinations. He especially likes Dubai for the city’s striking architectural style. “Mixed-use developments in Tokyo should be used as a model for high-rise living. The harmonious urban setting of residential and commercial development in Tokyo should become a destination for developers in world’s major cities, including Jakarta,” Veri explained. (Burhan Abe)
The Jakarta Post, November 18, 2009