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Tbilisi to get rid of its old Soviet style apartment blocks

by | Mar 12, 2014
City authorities have hired  an emirates company to tear down the old Soviet style blocks and build new ones.

City authorities have hired an emirates company to tear down the old Soviet style blocks and build new ones (amiralace.blogspot.com)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian capital plans to dismantle its so-called Khrushchovkas, a type of low-cost apartment blocks that were built in Tbilisi during the Soviet Union.

The project will be carried out by an investment holding company based in the United Arab Emirates, Tbilisi City Council’s press office announced. Name of the UAE company is still unknown as DFWatch could not reach Tbilisi Sakrebulo for details. Earlier Sakrebulo made a statement that it had signed a memorandum with “the founder of the International Trade and Investment Holding, Salim Umaid Saif.” The latter plans to invest up to USD 600 million into the project.

Khrushchovkas, also called Khrushchev matchboxes, or Khrushchev slums, are residential apartment blocks constructed in the 1960s and 70s during the Soviet Union on the initiative of its leader Nikita Khrushchev, and they are seen across all former Soviet territory.

The apartment buildings all have the same layout. They have 4-5 floors and flats with one or two rooms, with low 2.45 meter ceiling and basic standard.

The Khrushchovkas were built to last for 50 years, a time span which is now expired. At least ten percent of the population of the Soviet Union lived in such houses, which originally were meant to be temporary.

Tbilisi City Council has signed a memorandum with an investment holding company based in the United Arab Emirates. The memorandum concerns dismantling such apartments and constructing new ones instead. The memorandum also is about rehabilitation of old Tbilisi.

The Georgian government will have to approve the project before it is implemented.

“We want this project to start already in mid-summer,” council head Irakli Shikhiashvili said after signing the memorandum.

Representatives of the investment company say that in case the project gets support, the working process will start in four months.

Niko Khachirashvili from the City Council said it will take one month to work out a concept plan for replacing Khrushchovkas in Tbilisi.

“This is one of the greatest problems in the city in regard to infrastructure,” Khachirashvili says, “because the exploitation terms of these apartments expired. There are many buildings in an alarming state.”

He said the project requires the participation of the central government, but the Ministry of Economy has not yet responded.



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