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Tbilisi architecture remains on agenda

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 15
Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania has presented the candidates of two services. Nino Ghoghoberidze was named as a candidate for the Tbilisi Architectural Service and Giorgi Gagoshidze as a candidate for the Property Management Service.

Naming the candidates resulted in dissatisfaction among members of the opposition United National Movement. Irakli Abesadze from the UNM states that the candidates on the positions should have been chosen via competitions. However, Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Nina Khatiskatsi stresses that Tbilisi City Council can confirm such candidates without announcing any competitions.

Nino Ghoghoberidze states that if confirmed, she will reveal the plans with the appropriate structures and all the questions concerning legal or illegal construction should be removed.

One of the most significant projects the new Mayorís Office and Tbilisi City Council will have to discuss is the Tbilisi Panorama project.

The project envisages the construction of a complex consisting of four hotels in Old Tbilisi. The hotels comprising the Panorama Tbilisi will be named Freedom Square, Erekle II Square, Sololaki Heights and Sololaki Gardens. Documents for the part of the complex located in Sololaki are to be handed to city hall in the near future, and upon their approval the Co-Investment Fund will be ready to start construction of the Sololaki part.

Giorgi Bachiashvili, the fundís executive director said that the decision to build the complex was based on the careful study of the market: He stressed that from a tourism point-of-view, Tbilisi is in need of hotels.

Total volume of investment is 500 million USD. Bachiashvili informed that the planting of 30,000 trees in Tbilisi and the addition of 1,800 underground parking spaces are envisaged through the project.

Bachiashvili informed that the construction project will be completed in four years.

The project was criticized by former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, who stated that the project would damage the capitalís image and will not be as profitable as it was illustrated by the projectís initiators.

Aleko Elisashvili, an independent member of Tbilisi City Council is also against the project implementation, stating that a common development conception of the city has not been drafted yet.

Narmania states that the project is acceptable. However, he admitted that the project has not been submitted to the Mayorís Office yet.