Axis Towers: A-Class Choice
“The business visitor-oriented Pullman Hotel will provide a new tourist function for Chavchavadze Avenue” – Goga Kapanadze, General Director of Axis.
Residential, commercial, hotel and office-type properties and entertainment infrastructure – these 5 development fields are combined in a unique project carried out by Axis Towers. Property Georgia spoke to the company’s General Director, Goga Kapanadze, about the twin towers that are being built on the central avenue in Vake.
By Keti Tabatadze
- Buying residential property costs a lot. Therefore, when choosing a flat, the potential tenant pays particular attention to the reliability of the construction project. How big an effect will the presence of the world-renowned French hotel chain Accor’s five-star Pullman Hotel inside the Axis Towers have on the customers in this regard?
- The presence of Accor’s five-star Pullman Hotel in Axis Towers will certainly have a significant influence on the project in terms of its reliability and attractiveness.
Furthermore, the hotel’s presence will have a positive effect on the Axis Towers residents. It is always good to have a five-star hotel situated inside the complex where you live, and to be able to enjoy some of the hotel’s services as a resident of the complex. All of this affords more comfortability and prestige to the project.
- How did the cooperation between Axis and Pullman Hotels and Resorts come about? What attracted the international hotel brand to the Georgian market, and to your company in particular?
- Initially, we contacted several large players, and spent considerable time choosing a hotel that would be compatible with the Axis Towers brand through its image and other components.
The hotel brand itself found the Georgian market to be attractive. Research conducted by international companies confirms that investing in tourism on the Georgian market is an attractive proposition. This is backed by the country’s hotel occupancy coefficient, pricing, demand, and the tremendously growing flow of tourists. Furthermore, representatives of Pullman were attracted by the extraordinary modern architecture of the Axis Towers, as well as the inner layout that corresponds to the latest international standards. The uniqueness of the project and the premium location also contributed to the parties finally concluding an agreement.
The complex follows all international standards, be it on safety or fire norms, as well as the number and size of conference rooms, the inner layout and room size, the number of restaurants, a large fitness centre, pool and spa. It is important to point out that in some regards, we are not only fulfilling but exceeding the international standards, and that is why we wish to stand out.
- What will the hotel market look like in Tbilisi in 2018, when the Pullman Hotel is to open? Who will be your main competitors in the 5-star segment, and what benefits will be offered by the Pullman Hotel to its guests?
- New players will certainly appear on the market by 2018. The number of hotels will increase, but we are not worried by this fact, as we rely on data based on which we will see an annual increase in the number of tourists in Georgia. It is also important to note that we are oriented towards the business segment.
Pullman is a brand for businesspeople, while the Axis Towers successfully combine 5 development fields. They bring together several functions that complement each other and create a synergic effect. Guests of the office centre located inside the building are likely to stay in the hotel and make use of the conference or meeting rooms for business activities. However, they will also have leisure and entertainment facilities available to them inside the same building in the form of a fitness centre, a spa, a restaurant, a sky bar, as well as café-bars situated on the pedestrian road.
- Does the presence of the 5-star hotel determine the target segment for the Axis Towers’ residential properties to be people with high income?
- The target segment for the residential properties at Axis Towers is determined not only by the presence of the 5-star hotel. The project was aimed at this target segment from the beginning, although naturally, a hotel of such status and quality will help the project reinforce this position. Interestingly enough, we had received offers from several renowned and successful 4-star hotel brands, but based on the project’s image, we ultimately decided to go with the Pullman Hotel.
- What are the sales figures? On what kind of residential properties is demand particularly high?
- Interestingly, no residential property type stands out in terms of the sales figures so far. People buy flats in the Axis Towers for different purposes – some as an investment, in which case the properties are usually smaller, and others for their own families, in which case they tend to choose larger flats. As for demand, the rate of sales is increasing as time goes by. The completion of the structure of the tower has had a positive effect, and the outer works will begin in late autumn. The sales figures are increasing parallel to the construction process, and we hope that this trend will continue.
- What is the pricing policy at the Axis Towers?
- Due to the project’s uniqueness, this is clearly not a cheap product. However, the company has made the decision to devise a broad pricing policy. On lower levels of the building, we are offering customers smaller flats (6 per floor) that are quite affordable.
The residential section starts on level 7, where the minimum price is $1500 per sq. m. The prices go up by $30 per sq. m. with each higher level. The smallest residential properties in the Axis Towers measure 45 sq. m.
- Axis Development laid the groundwork for the construction of the first twin skyscrapers in Georgia back in 2006, and construction was resumed in 2015 in partnership with the Georgian Co-Investment Fund. At what stage is the construction process now, and when will the Axis Towers start welcoming its guests and tenants?
- As I already mentioned, the concrete structure of the residential tower has been completed, and outer works will start in late autumn. The residential complex will be completed by the end of 2017. As for the glass tower, more than half of the structure has already been completed. The hotel and the office centre are to be completed by the summer of 2018, and that is when tenants will be able to take up residence in their flats.
- Apart from the Pullman Hotel, the Axis Towers will house residential flats, offices and commercial properties. What are the complex’s infrastructure and services like, which makes the Axis Towers project so attractive?
- I reiterate that Axis Towers is a unique project, as it combines five fields of development: residential, hotel, office, commercial and entertainment functions. The residential part is distinguished by unique architecture, bright flats, Smart House function, a yard with facilities, a fully developed infrastructure, and a five-star service. We already spoke a lot about the business visitor-oriented Pullman Hotel, which will provide a new tourist function for Chavchavadze Avenue. Significantly, the Axis Towers will house the first A-Class office centre in Georgia, with a 1000 sq. m. conference hall and an entire floor for meeting rooms. As for the commercial aspect, the complex will include an international supermarket brand and various shops. All of this will be complemented by the project’s entertainment functions. This will include a fitness centre, a spa, a 25 m swimming pool with a retractable roof, a sky bar, a music hall, and café-bars situated on the pedestrian street. The 3 underground levels will house a parking garage, with a total size of the equivalent of 4 football fields.
- Back to the subject of brands: which renowned companies will be represented inside the Axis Towers?
- We are currently at different stages of negotiating with various international and local firms. However, this information is confidential at present.
- Next year, Axis will celebrate 20 years of operating on the local market. The company carried out 15 projects over the past two decades. What was Axis like in 1998, and what challenges have been taken on and overcome by the company until now? What are the future plans for the development firm, which has already expressed ambition for innovative projects?
- In 1998, Axis was a small company with big plans, oriented towards the construction of small residential houses. The company accepted huge challenges, survived the 2008 war and the unprecedented global economic and financial crises – something which many Georgian companies did not manage.
Naturally, development and expansion are amongst Axis’s future plans. We are planning to conduct long-term investments and to expand our geographic scope, work on hotel and office centre projects, and develop resort zones.