we are ready for Marriott … NOT

Heard of the controversy over Marriott-to-be building in Medan, North Sumatra?

Story behind it :

Medan is a small city, an extremely strange one with the airport practically located in the middle of the city. No building / structures are supposed to be more than 45m height within certain km radius of the airport as it will compromise the navigational function of the airport and also pilots.

Here it comes :

JW Marriott has invested in the new hotel built in Medan, with the height of 28 floors (about 90m) which makes it the tallest building in the city. The local government claims that the hotel has only been given permit to built 15 floors in total, three underground and 12 above. The issues came to surface in September when the hotel was all the way up to the 27th floor. One more floor short of the original blue print.

Long story short :

The government has requested the hotel to scrape off the additional floors and stick to the building permit. What??

I don’t really follow the story, but from what I heard from my business associate who is also associate to the local partner of the Marriott, claimed that they have done everything asked, including providing an independent report from consultants that it will not interfere with the operational of the airport. This incident has been very troubling and his investors are not happy with the way the local officials handle things.

Moral of the story :

It is strange how the city government failed to notice how the building has sprouted that tall (way way way above the said-15 floor permit) months before. Shouldn’t they have somebody monitoring this high-profile project? The bell should have been ringing out loud when it reached the 16th floor. Not 27th floor!

I am also certain that since Marriott is a big name, they should have done their research right and would not proceed with the construction above ‘the-said 15th floor’ if they were not given assurances or anything by the city officials that it will not be a problem in the future. Maybe something went sour.  

Even without the Mariott, planes are still falling off Medan sky like fruit-flies. I find that hilarious.  

Personal experience :

When we were building our office, we planned to build the 4th floor. The city government rejected our proposal. They said that 3 floor is the limit for our area. Of course we asked them what we should do. We were asked whether we were willing to put up USD 30,000 to make our case heard all the way up to the local parliament. Well, obviously we did what every sane businessman would do. We said .. well, bye bye, we will see you soon …. NOT.

A year later, a hotel is built right in front of us. Separated by a 20m wide street. Guess what. It has nine floors. Now still standing and all and we never heard a word of it. Justice do prevail, I think ..

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4 Responses to “we are ready for Marriott … NOT”


  1. 1 LB December 1, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    More to it than meets the eye, I would say! One wonders how humanity ever became the dominant species in the first place… LOL.. Oh well.. Happy Weekend!

    Andie : Yes, happy weekend to you too, Albie!

  2. 3 Secret Agent Mama December 3, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I think I just gained about 5lbs!! Great photos!!

  3. 4 adit December 7, 2007 at 7:43 am

    It is strange how the city government failed to notice how the building has sprouted that tall (way way way above the said-15 floor permit) months before.

    I think this is not a strange thing, considering the corrupt morality of our government officials.

    It would be weird, in my opinion, if they in fact, noticed it in the first place 😀


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