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Panorama Tbilisi development project discussed

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, April 29
On April 24, Tbilisi City Hall released a statement that they rejected the project offered by Panorama Tbilisi on March 27, 2014. Georgian billionaire and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is one of the major investors in the project.

Panorama Tbilisi’s four multi-functional areas with a total investment of $500 million will be fully funded by the $6 billion USD Georgian Co-Investment Fund (GCF), which is a private equity fund.

The projects range across a variety of sectors totaling $1.3 billion USD including tourism and real estate, which will be allocated on half of the initial budget of half a billion USD. In addition, more than $770 million will be invested in two energy projects and $59.3 million USD will go towards developing Georgia’s agricultural industry with dairy farms and greenhouse projects.

According to City Hall, due to the high public interest in the project, the Tbilisi Territory Urbanization and Utilization Issues Regulatory Commission discussed the Panorama Tbilisi project in several open sessions.

However, the decision-makers stated that more work needed to be done before the project could be approved, and there was also a debate over the location of the project.

City Hall believes the project would be better implemented in another part of the city rather than in Tbilisi’s historical district. For example, they give the plan of moving the railway station from the center of the city and use the free space for the future development of the capital or choose, for example Arsena Mountain slope, and realize the project there.

The co-investment fund has not yet responded to City Hall’s decision. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said he was sure that Tbilisi City Hall would oppose the idea. However, he said the government will need a couple of months to “do what is needed for Tbilisi.”