“Adaptive reuse is the future of commercial real estate”

– Hurwitz, 2020


In general, the occupancy rate of property assets in Jakarta especially for office buildings and retail market experienced a downturn. According to Cushman & Wakefield Indonesia, the Jakarta CBD & Non-CBD office markets experienced an annual negative pick-up of 82,400 square meters and 57,000 square meters respectively for 2020. As for the retail market, the occupancy rate of Jakarta’s retail centers was recorded at 77.1% by the end of 2020, a significant decrease of 4.0% in the last year. In addition, the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic throughout the world also had a significant impact on the economic downturn in Indonesia which has an impact on various business sectors ranging from small to large scale. It is evidently shown that many commercial property buildings are closed/left vacant.

Source: liputan6.com, sindonews.com

Moreover, the existence of government policy related to large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) also has an influence on consumer and mobility behavior changing. For example, the work from home and work from office policy that have implication for decreasing mobility up to 32% lower than in 2019. Related to consumer behavior, people tend to avoid direct buying such as choosing the delivery or take-out method rather than dining-in so that the restaurant visits only reached 52.3%, still below retail visits of 61% (Mandiri Institute, 2021). The number of visitors that continued to decline, followed by sharply decreasing sales was unable to keep up with operational costs, hence closing the store temporarily becomes one of the best choices taken by the business actors in this difficult time. With this change, an adaptation is needed in order to keep running the business or prevent the property assets from becoming unused and have no value.


Repurposing property assets can be a solution to increase the property value. Repurposing real estate is adding value to obsolete properties by means of adaptive reuse (Davies, 2020). Repurposing property during the Covid-19 can be categorized into permanent and non-permanent repurposing. Permanent repurposing can be defined as changing the overall function of the property asset, for example: changing the unwanted mall into a vertical housing or changing the no longer functioning mall into a medical organization. Whereas non-permanent repurposing can be defined as adding accessories or activities to the main function of the property in order to increase its property value or change the property function for a temporary period. An example of non-permanent repurposing is the restaurants shifting to groceries in which they not only provide the dine-in or takeaway meal, but also sell the groceries and needs during pandemic such as wet tissue, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, meal kits, and etc.

There are some examples of repurposing property assets that have occurred in Indonesia.

Before (left): Perum Peruri in Blok M area (source: instagram.com/mblocspace)
After (right): M Bloc Space, a creative space for musicians and artists (source: tirto.id)
Before (left): Banjaratma PG’s sugar factory (source: sindonews.com)
After (right): Rest Area KM 260B Banjaratma (source: detik.com)


According to Knight Frank Property Outlook 2021, there are at least four divides that have to be crossed before any potential repurposing becomes in any way viable including value alignment, planning, geographies, and configuration/ ownership. Cityplan tries to exercise some data to simulate property asset repurposing in Jakarta by considering three factors, such as planning, geographies, and value alignment. We choose the location to be repurposed in Fatmawati, South Jakarta. This simulation assumes that there is a vacant property asset in the area and will be repurposed to become an online delivery F&B. Harnessing spatial data from https://spatia.id/, we can analyze some aspects related to planning and geographies. According to planning, the figure below depicts that the selected location is located in a mixed-use zone in which the activities related to F&B are allowed to be built there. Then geographically, the location chosen is located in a strategic area that has good accessibility to surrounding residential and service areas.

Next, taking into account value alignment means that the property value has to stack up to make repurposing financially viable. The point is located in a street corridor that has land prices ranging from 8 to 9 million per square meter. The vacant property has two implications, such as current operational cost representing the range number of tax value that landowner has to allocate annually, and the future value of the property influenced by the business activity that can maintain or increase its property value. Therefore, in choosing a business activity that meets the value alignment (to alleviate the current cost and enhance the future value of the property), we need to understand the market trend for the purposed business.

In this case, shown in the figure above, we exercise the data related to the potential market for F&B online delivery as it is currently becoming one of the rising trends. From the result, the selected location is in a dark area where higher demand for online F&B is placed. This article shows that location intelligence can help to understand how vacant properties in a particular location can be repurposed and what kind of business activities suitable to the location. To know more about how valuable your property can be in the future, do not hesitate to contact us at:

Email: [email protected]

Linked in: Cityplan Indonesia

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