The FINANCIAL -- Jockey Club, proprietor of the Tbilisi hippodrome, Kulari rancho and Betania rancho, is constructing a new hippodrome near Lisi Lake, while City Centre Tbilisi, a multifunctional social-administrative district, is being built on the territory of the old hippodrome.
The new hippodrome is supposed to be one of the biggest in the whole of the Caucasus region. It will be a multifunctional infrastructure, with a total area of 32.8 hectares, embodying different thematic zones: Sporting demonstrative zone, including a 2 500-place open stand tribune; Hippodrome field, used for horse testing, including a 1 600 meter long race track; Training-learning zone, used for the professional learning of equestrianism, embodying a closed tribune with 1 000 places; Household zone, including 6 fully equipped stables; Veterinary clinic; Special premises, including parking, forge, irrigation systems; Entertainment-playing zone.
“Our partner is Bargana Development, subsidiary company of the Kazakhstan Investment Holding Bargana. Our choice of investor was not easy or accidental. Bargana is not only a strong investment company, it also has interesting experience in managing real estate. On the other hand the Kazak side is interested in investing in Georgia due to many firm arguments. Bargana is considering Tbilisi as the future financial centre of the region. Visualizing Tbilisi in this status is quite reasonable, considering both its historical and present position. The most important thing is that investment in this project has enabled Jockey Club to support Georgian equestrian sport.
The first sensible step we took was to change the location of the hippodrome, building it in a suburban area of Tbilisi. This decision will ensure unimpeded development of both equestrian sports and the equestrian industry. The new location also provides sportsmen with good conditions for training. The represented infrastructure will be of the highest standards,” said Kakhaber Amashukeli.
At present four stables are already built, installation of the irrigation system is completed, and communication is fixed. The whole project will be finished in 4 years but sportsmen will be able to practice in a year’s time. In future the company is planning to build 40 hotel rooms for sportsmen.
“Establishment of a new hippodrome meeting all international standards will enable us to organize major competitions, which was previously impossible at the old hippodrome.
We have already taken steps to this end, and brought in horses. We are negotiating with leading European Equestrian schools about inviting top class specialists to give training to our sportsmen and coaches,” Amashukeli added.
“I have to say that there has been a major disagreement on this subject as our opponents were often saying that the hippodrome was dead, would no longer develop, that equestrian sport in Georgia is deteriorating and we were to blame for it. Today is proof of the fact that all accusations were completely unreasonable. The Tbilisi hippodrome will be a high-class complex, one of the biggest in the Caucasus region, even in Europe, with all necessary infrastructure. Building of the new hippodrome city, as well as construction of City Centre Tbilisi on the territory of the old hippodrome is of significant importance for the development of the city,” said Mamuka Akhvlediani, Vice-Mayer of Tbilisi.
In 2006 Bargana development started working on the construction of City Centre Tbilisi on the territory of the old hippodrome, located in the Vake-Saburtalo District.
According to Temirzhan Meirambekov, General Director of Bargana, the main construction will be located on two platforms, at 9 meters from actual ground level. Under them race tracks and a three-level car park will be arranged. The first platform forming the public zone will be designed like a “city square.” The main entrance form Tamarashvili Street will spill over into the principal pedestrian esplanade, starting form a spacious 80 meter round square going down to the glassy surface of the river like an amphitheatre.
The architecture surrounding the square will include the trading-entertainment “City Mall” mega centre. The gallery of the main 7-storey front of the mega centre will connect “City Mall” with a 23 storey administrative building creating a kind of Grandiose “gate,” separating the square from the pedestrian esplanade. Right behind the gate, along the right side of the main axis of traffic will rise the multi storey “B” class business-centre and a 31-storey building form Saburtalo Street’s side. There will be a four-star hotel, combined with a multilevel system of atriums with office spaces.
The total area of the units located on the first platform is 237.000 sq.m, excluding areas of more than 150 thousand sq.m, that include technical premises and underground car parks.
The second, commercial platform will be a concept of the financial centre, with its predominantly administrative buildings of the prospected bank offices and other financial institutions. From the north the platform will face three 30-storey residential towers, the 10-storey five-star “City Palace” hotel from the south with its high-rise atrium-lobby, and “Congress Hall” with its capacity of several thousand people.
The land mark of the complex will be the 52-storey “City Tower” skyscraper. The “A” class international financial organization, transitional corporation and embassy offices will be located on the first 30 floors, while the 31-52 floors are going to be taken up by apartments. The total area of the sparsely arranged units on the second platform is 240 000 sq.m, including the underground car parks with 4 000 parking spaces.
The recreational zone with a total area of 30 hectares will include park, artificial river and embankment.
“Our decision to invest in this ambitious project was encouraged by our expectation that Tbilisi will become the leading financial centre of the Caucasus region. Our main concept is to create a unique progressive project, meeting all the demands of modern technological and architectural standards. We wish to create a business and cultural centre of Tbilisi. It will be a city within a city, with all the necessary infrastructure, residence and wide range of relevant services. We chose the territory of the old hippodrome because we found it suitable for our innovative project, in terms of its location and landscape. We are planning to invest about USD 400 million in this project. The project will be finished within 7-8 years,” declared Meirambekov.