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Kempinski Confirms Interest in Georgia’s Parliament Building

Published: September 17, 2012 | 10:36 am
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Senior VP Development: “At this stage, I can only confirm that we are in preliminary discussions with the intended investors to manage part of the property.”

Since Georgian government made a decision to move Parliament from 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. 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. The COMMERCIAL TIMES interviewed  Mike Haemmerli, Senior VP Development of Kempinski Hotels S.A., regarding the details of the negotiations with the Georgian side and the hotel giant’s further development plans in Batumi.

-          According to local media, the building of the Parliament of Georgia will soon be sold and transferred to the control of the hotel chain Kempinski. Could you please, confirm this information?

-          To clarify, Kempinski’s core business is the management of hotels on behalf of third party investors or owners, and we therefore do not acquire properties ourselves. At this stage, I can only confirm that we are in preliminary discussions with the intended investors to manage part of the property.


-          Reportedly, Kempinski is ready to purchase the building together with Georgian businessman Buba Keburia. How well does Kempinski management know Mr. Keburia and has your company already negotiated on concrete partnership terms with him?

-          As mentioned, we are only in the very early stages of discussions for a management agreement for the property.


-          What will be the name of the hotel?

-          This would be decided if and when  discussions have reached the relevant stage.


-          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. What happened to that plan?

-          Following a change in ownership of the project, we didn’t reach an agreement for the operation/management of the property with the new owners, which put an end to our involvement in the project.


-          Will you confirm the statement by the Georgian opposition that it was not Kempinski but Capital-Vostok that was engaged in the above-mentioned hotel project of the former Institute of Marxism-Leninism?


-          We can confirm we had an agreement with Capital-Vostok, who were initially slated to be the owner/developer of the project.


-          Why is the Parliament building interesting for Kempinski? What type of hotel does your company plan to construct there?

-          The great location, plus historical and emblematic status of the building itself make this project consistent with our existing portfolio and strategy. However, at this early stage of discussions with the proposed developer, it is too early to discuss any specific plans for the hotel, but in keeping with our brand standards the hotel would certainly be of a five star luxury standard.


-          As for the Kempinski hotel in Batumi, when will the hotel receive first guests?

-          The project is still under construction, and currently slated to open in Q2 2014.


-          Could you please give us a brief description of the Kempinski hotel in Batumi?

-          This stunning new property is in a prime location, close to tourist attractions (including thermal springs and casinos) and the business district.  Part of a multifunctional complex, the hotel will have 250 rooms and suites, boasting magnificent views and a glamorous, fresh design.


-          How competitive do you regard hotel market in Batumi and what are the arguments proving Kempinski’s success there?

-          The hotel will be located on arguably one of the best sites in the city, and we believe that with the support of the Kempinski brand and our proven track record in management of luxury properties, the property will thrive and become a market leader.




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