Georgian Co-Investment Fund (“GCF”), a US$6B private equity fund based in Georgia, has officially announced the commencement of the construction of the US$77 M “Galleria Tbilisi” project at a public presentation held on February 11th in Tbilisi. The project was presented by the senior executives of GCF and project’s exclusive leasing agent, Colliers International Georgia. The Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Kakha Kaladze, also participated in the event. Georgian Government officials, foreign diplomats, representatives of international organizations and financial institutions, as well as senior executives of international and local retailer companies, were all amongst attendees.
The “Galleria Tbilisi” project envisages the development of a modern, multifunctional shopping centre on Tbilisi’s prime high street, Rustaveli Avenue, which is in the heart of the capital city. Centrally located near the most important government and private institutions, museums and theaters, “Galleria Tbilisi” will be the best place for shopping in Georgia. The shopping center is readily accessible for its visitors via a number of public transport and pedestrian access points. Its catchment area contains approximately 1,000,000 residents within 20 minutes' drive.
Galleria Tbilisi’s outstanding architecture integrates many elements of metropolitan life. The project’s design was created by a leading Israeli firm of architects, “Moshe Zur Architects”, which has completed a range of impressive architectural developments including shopping centers in Europe’s capital cities. With its blend of classic and contemporary styles and the exceptional quality of its construction Galleria Tbilisi will become a new landmark of the city.
Galleria Tbilisi will be a distinctive shopping center for many reasons. The unique development is designed around Tbilisi’s two renowned theatres, the Liberty Theater and the A. Griboedov Russian Drama Theater which will be integrated within the mall structure, making the center an even more appealing destination for its visitors. The mall is also linked to the Freedom Square Metro Station granting metro commuters direct access to the shopping center. Galleria Tbilisi gross leasable area is 22,000m² and this includes 5 levels of retail space and a food court. The building will have an underground car park area with capacity of 308 parking spaces.
The center will offer a unique shopping experience to its customers. The current design envisages thematic categorization of the shopping levels: a grocery and specialty food store will be located in the basement, a mix of mid and upper-scale fashion, footwear and accessories brands on the ground, first and second floors and children’s wear, home accessories and sporting goods on the third floor. The fourth level of the mall will feature a food court with diverse restaurants and cafés, providing the widest choice of dining options in center of Tbilisi. In addition, there will be a terrace with magnificent views over Tbilisi which will also serve as a venue for organizing special events.
In order to make Galleria Tbilisi a more attractive shopping destination for its visitors, GCF is actively working on attracting new retailers to the Georgian market, offering them an opportunity to establish a presence in one of the city’s most exclusive shopping districts. GCF plans to officially sign agreements with approximately 80% of all Galleria Tbilisi potential retailers during 2016. GCF hired Colliers International Georgia, a leading commercial real estate services company, as the exclusive leasing agent for the project. GCF began working with Colliers International Georgia in 2015, when the project was presented to international audiences for the first time in Cannes at MAPIC 2015, where the project received a positive feedback at the world’s most prestigious international retail property annual exhibition.
The CEO of GCF, George Bachiashvili, commented: “GCF acquired existing commercial property on Rustaveli Avenue from Doryphore Investment B.V. in April, 2015. Now, we are commencing the main construction works. We are proud that by GCF’s investment this part of Tbilisi’s main prospect will be restored through reviving its traditional function. The total investment size of the project is US$ 77 M, with GCF as the sole investor. Galleria Tbilisi will be a modern, multifunctional shopping center with a highly attractive location. The project is unique as the mall structure integrates the existing A.Griboedov Russian Drama Theater and Liberty Theater, as well as Freedom Square Metro station. The theaters make the mall an important cultural destination as well.
The Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Kakha Kaladze, commented: “Since its launch, GCF has been implementing numerous large-scale and important projects for Georgia in different sectors of the economy. The Fund’s investment has made it possible to renew a project that has been stalled for years. As a result, Tbilisi will acquire a new architectural landmark in 2017. Galleria Tbilisi will also be a new destination for tourists and local residents. The center will offer a wide range of possibilities for entertainment and recreation. The project will also play a significant role in attracting new international companies. This is another GCF project which will contribute to the development of Georgia’s commercial real estate market. It will foster the inflow of additional FDIs, create new jobs and bring long-term revenue for the central budget.”
Georgian construction company “Anagi” was also declared the winner of the general contractor tender at the presentation: it signed an agreement with the Project Company to carry out the main construction works.
The General Diector of Galleria Tbilisi project, Mr. Nikoloz Tsintsadze stated: “We are delighted that the tender was won by Georgian construction company Anagi, which has am extensive experience in the construction industry, calls upon a team of highly qualified and experienced professionals, and has completed many successful projects in Tbilisi. We are certain that as a result of our cooperation Tbilisi will acquire a new landmark of modern architecture that will be executed with an exceptional high quality.”
With its unique brand mix, wide choice of dining options, event spaces, two theaters and a terrace with stunning views of historical part of the capital city, Galleria Tbilisi will be a new and exciting destination for tourists as well as for the local residents. The grand opening of Galleria Tbilisi is scheduled for September 2017.
Galleria Tbilisi official website: www.galleria.ge