Will construction of Trump Tower resume in Batumi?
10 November, 2016
Will construction of Trump Tower resume in Batumi?
The electoral fever that was going on in the United States has spread all over the world. There is still a big question mark about what is going to happen during the next four years as everybody knows well that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have some positive feelings towards each other. There are different opinions about the American President-elect and it is interesting to review Donald Trump’s contacts with Georgia.

The President-elect of the United States visited Georgia on April
12, 2012, when the presentation of Trump Tower held in Batumi. The event was attended by Trump and the then President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who had said that it would be one of the most expensive and strategically important projects for Georgia. Donald Trump also gave a speech.
“It is a great honor for me to be in Georgia. I have known Giorgi Ramishvili (the Head of Silk Road Group and Trump’s partner in Georgia) for quite a long time and I know he never stops. My group knows the situation very well and that is why we have agreed to invest here. The people who live in Batumi know everything very well as they see everything with their own eyes, but I want to say, Mr. President, that in other countries everybody’s talking about you. You are a great person. I spent beautiful days here and I will return to Georgia many times,” Donald Trump said during his speech in 2012.

The agreement between Trump’s organization and Silk Road Group was signed in 2011, during Saakashvili’s visit to the United States. The Trump Tower project is headed by Silk Road Group, a Georgian conglomerate, with interests in transport, TV communications, banking and real estate spheres.

Trump Tower in Batumi was supposed to be a 47-storey building with 80 to 700 square meter apartments and with a view to the Black Sea coast. In spite of the fact that the project was very loudly presented, it was never implemented and the questions have already arose whether it will be possible now, when trump won the Presidential elections, to carry it out. Some people also ask whether the project stopped because of Saakashvili leaving the office in 2012.

We asked these questions to the head of Marketing and PR department of Silk Road Group, Ako Akhalaia.

- Donald Trump becoming the President of the Unites States has absolutely nothing in common with this project. We have an agreement with his organization and subsequently, only we can decide whether it will be implemented or not.

- Why was the project stopped?

- When the beginning of the Trump Tower project was presented to the public in 2012, there was a different, more stable political environment in our neighboring countries like Ukraine and Azerbaijan. We planned to sell the real estate to the citizens of those countries. We are an organization who implements projects and wants them to be profitable and successful. But today, as we know, there is no sense in trying to carry out this specific project because it won’t be profitable.

- Is it possible that in the near future Trump Tower will finally be built?

- Only if we see that there is a strong demand in the region for high-class apartments. At this time, we are negotiating the possibility of changing this project. If at first it was supposed to be a 47-storey building, now we may begin with a smaller one. At this stage we have no specific agreement but we do have a license agreement with Donald Trump, which means that we can use the brand as well as many other opportunities that we cannot disclose now for particular reasons. Also, we were talking about 250 to 300 million dollar investments that we needed to build the tower and that would be fully invested by Silk Road Group.

By Eka Gadakhabadze

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