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Big Question Mark around Georgia’s Tbilisi Parliament Building

Published: October 15, 2012 | 10:21 am
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Kempinski Says It is the Owners Responsibility to Obtain the Relevant Development Permits

The COMMERCIAL TIMES

There’s a big question mark around Georgia’s Tbilisi parliament building. Georgian Dream coalition, the winner of Georgia’s 2012 parliamentary elections, plans to return the parliament moved by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to Kutaisi back to Tbilisi. However, the first session of the parliament is expected to be held in Kutaisi. According to Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of GD and the future PM candidate, Tbilisi Parliament building is already destroyed inside.

Since Saakashvili’s government made a decision to move Parliament from the capital city Tbilisi to the country’s second largest city- Kutaisi, there have been many rumors spread around the possible sale of the building. One of the potential investors was named the hotel chain Kempinski. Howver, the hotel giant says they’re not acting as potential investors, rather a third party hotel operator. The world-known Swiss hotel chain already has an ongoing project in Batumi resort of Georgia. The company is building a Grand Hotel Kempinski Batumi, Black Sea there.

“As a hotel management company we are always looking for and are interested in feasible projects that fit into our expansion plans provided all necessary approvals are in place. It is the owners responsibility to obtain the relevant development permits,” Mike Haemmerli, Senior VP Development of Kempinski Hotels S.A told The COMMERCIAL TIMES.  “We wish to reiterate that Kempinski is not acting as potential investor in this project, but rather as third party hotel operator.”

As Haemmerli, stated earlier last month they were in preliminary discussions with the intended investors to manage part of the Georgia’s former Parliament building.

Reportedly, France based Georgian businessman Buba Keburia is potential investor. Sources say that Keburia is the owner of the Ambassador restaurant and an exhibition hall in Tbilisi. Keburia has his own wine plant in Georgia where he produces exclusive wines: Kachretuli, Tiflisi and Tavadi Bagrationi. In Russia he has also a big fortune, including the restaurants like Tiflisi, Tavadi Bagrationi, Tifliski Dvor, also a business center and a four-star hotel Kebur Palace. In Paris his owns a restaurant Kartuli Sakhli.

Buba Keburia is also known for constructing a Georgian temple St. Queen Tamar’s Church in Paris.

The fate of the former Parliament building in Tbilisi is still unknown. The Ministry of Economy has not made official explanations. Last month Georgian Dream received the following letter from the Ministry of Economy and Parliament – Parliament applies to the  Ministry of Economy to make explanations on this issue while  the  Ministry of Economy -  Parliament.

Kempinski appeared in Georgia in 2006, when the hotel chain announced a project to build a luxury hotel in the parliament building of 1992-1995, former Institute of Marxism-Leninism in the same Rustaveli Avenue. The hotel giant says, following a change in ownership of the project, they didn’t reach an agreement for the operation/management of the property with the new owners, which put an end to their involvement in the project.

 

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