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Russian Billionaire Khodorkovsky Involved in Major Tbilisi Projects Worth $100m

Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky is involved in implementing two large-scale projects in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, worth about one hundred million USD (about 203 million GEL).

The first involved opening the East Point Shopping and Entertainment Centre and the other was the establishment of the Tbilisi Garden residential complex, announced business and economic news website www.bpn.ge.

Quadrum Global, the company responsible for building both facilities, was partly owned by the Russian billionaire, who was a former owner of Russian oil and gas company Yukos. The company is also jointly owned by Khodorkovsky’s business partner Platon Lebedev.

According to the Russian edition of Forbes, Quadrum Global’s assets were worth approximately $2 billion USD. To note, the company owned real estate in the United States, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Ukraine and Georgia.

Some details of the East Point Shopping and Entertainment Centre have already been announced. The facility will occupy an area of 65,000 sqm and will be located on the motorway connecting the city centre with Tbilisi International Airport, on the eastern edge of Tbilisi known as the “Kakheti Highway”. It is a 10 minute drive from Freedom Square in central Tbilisi, a 15 minute drive from Rustavi city and about one hour from Armenia or Azerbaijan.

The shopping mall will provide children’s education and entertainment centre.

The area was regarded as a good transportation link with growing residential demand. It is believed the facility will enjoy approximately 70,000 patrons daily.

Project developers said this will be Georgia’s first open-concept retail and entertainment complex – a unique offering in a market with a growing demand for international quality shopping.

Phase I of the development will encompass building the foundations and an area that will accommodate a hypermarket, the city’s first DIY store, the first electronics superstore and a 27,000 sqm outdoor fashion mall. The facility will also boast more than 2,000 parking places.

The mall will also provide a comprehensive leisure space the whole family can enjoy, with a multiplex cinema, bowling alley, children’s education and entertainment centre and food outlets. All shops will have front doors on the ground floor.

The total development cost of Phase I of East Point will reach approximately $60 million USD. This will be fully funded by the developer. Construction has already begun, and with ground and perimeter works completed. The East Point website noted Phase I of the project was expected to be completed at the end of 2014 however this did not happen.

The facility will occupy an area of 65,000 sqm.

Regarding the second project, in 2011 Khodorkovsky and Lebedev purchased land measuring four ha in Tbilisi’s Saburtalo district. Here Quadrum Global was currently currently constructing the 150,000 sqm Tbilisi Garden residential complex, said the Forbes Russian edition.

Global commercial real estate advisory company Colliers International noted the Tbilisi Garden project will cost $30 million USD.

Meanwhile in 2003 Khodorkovsky was arrested and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion, when he was an owner of Yukos.

In 2010 Khodorkovsky he again faced the wrath of the law, this time alongside his business partner Lebedev. His prison sentence was extended to 14 years. At the time the West criticised Khodorkovsky’s arrest and said he Russian billionaire was “Putin’s private prisoner”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky in 2013.