Metrocity Forum Shopping Mall In Batumi
Interview with Mehmet Ayag, Chairman of the Board of JSC Metro Avrasya Georgia.
Next year a new giant shopping mall will open in Batumi. What is the concept of this and which segment are you focusing on with it?
The Metro City project includes 464 residential apartments, 415 hotel suites, and the biggest casino in Georgia. Most of the residential apartments have already been sold and will be put into use in July 2016. The shopping mall will also open then. We make accents on tourists and residents in new apartments; the hotel guests. The affordable prices will also enable local residents to enjoy our services. Moreover, we also have resolved one of the main challenges in Batumi and we have organized a parking area for 310 cars.
The Qemal Pasha Fair is located near Batumi and so you will have to offer sharp competition to this Fair, at the initial stage, to draw new clients. Do you plan to undertake any marketing or PR campaigns in this direction?
Georgian citizens go to Turkey, namely, to Qemal Pasha, Khopa and Trabzon, to shop, taking with them Georgian currency. We aim to strengthen the Georgian economy- local residents and tourists will remain in and spend money in Georgia and not take it abroad.
Furthermore, our company will enable tourists to enjoy the Ring transport Service. The last stop will be at the Metro City Forum shopping mall. Metro Forum is located in Batumi, in a very promising location favorable for both local residents and the country as a whole to enjoy better shopping mall services without crossing state borders.
Our company will provide weighty PR and marketing campaigns for popularizing the shopping mall.
What would you say about renting commercial spaces at the shopping mall? What percent have you already rented out? Have you already reached a final agreement with any famous brands?
Let’s keep the names of the brands incognito, because we want to surprise Batumi residents. I can confirm that we are conducting negotiations with one particular company that will be very popular in Georgia and that is sure to be a success here and that “We have already rented out 65% of commercial spaces in the shopping mall and negotiations are underway on the remaining 35% of the commercial spaces.
Besides the brands that are already represented on the Georgian market, are you negotiating to attract new ones?
Naturally, we have contacted almost all famous international brands and negotiations are underway with them.
Adjara is considered a seasonal resort. Do you expect demand for shopping mall services in the out-of-season period?
A good question. Stores of various brands operate throughout Batumi but in the rain, it is difficult to enjoy shopping in Batumi Streets. Our goal is to enable local residents to enjoy the services of a variety of brands at the shopping mall, as well as that of various entertainment centers. To that end we will have a movie theater, restaurants with terraces, an entertainment center for children, billiard and bowling centers where people will spend the time jointly with friends and family members.
How much is the rental per square meter?
The rental per square meter starts from 25 USD plus VAT. The rental amount depends on the floor, space and location.
Metro City is implementing this large-scale project in Batumi. What is the investment value of this shopping mall and in which time period do you expect to get back the investment?
The total value of the project exceeds 120 million USD. We also plan to expand our activities by implementing the Metro City Phase 2 project. Naturally, it is important for our company to return the investments, but the preference is given to creating stable job places and products for Batumi residents.
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