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Tbilisi City Council Faces Criticism for Supporting Multifunctional Center Project near Heroes' Square

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, December 29, 2023
The Tbilisi City Council has supported the project for a multifunctional center to be built near Heroes' Square. The council approved the development regulation plan; however, the opposition did not lend their support to the project.

In their political statements, the opposition voiced criticism against the large-scale construction in the Vere Valley and made allegations of connections between Ivanishvili's interests and Russian involvement in the project.

The presented project has also garnered criticism from specialists. The Urban Studies Center published a document on December 12, stating that the risks associated with the project have not been adequately investigated. According to the document, the planned development contradicts the principles of sustainable development, the Law of Georgia on cultural heritage, and the objectives outlined in the capital's land-use master plan and transport policy.

As stated in the document, the proposed development is poised to fundamentally change the spatial-planning structure of Tbilisi's historic district. It jeopardizes the potential integration of open and recreational spaces in the Vere Gorge and the Mtkvari river bank, and it is expected to have a negative impact on the traffic situation.

Konstantine Zarnadze, a member of the Tbilisi City Council from the 'Georgian Dream' party, has responded to the criticism surrounding the 'Laguna Vere' project. According to him, after observing the 'hysteria' from the opposition, he is even more convinced that the 'Laguna Vere' project stands out as one of the most crucial and fitting initiatives to be implemented in the capital.

"As part of the 'Laguna Vere' project, there are plans for the construction of a multi-storied, multi-functional complex, accompanied by the preservation and restoration of the historic silk factory building. A key requirement outlined in the development regulation plan is the restoration of the swimming complex," Zarnadze stated.

The city council member also emphasized that, with respect to safety norms and measures, the contractor must submit all necessary research documents to obtain permission to commence construction during the design phase.

"After the approval of the construction regulation plan, the company will need to undertake several architectural works, which must be coordinated with the municipality. Only after completing these steps will the company be eligible to obtain a construction permit," Zarnadze said.