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As inevitable result of the largely lost function as a train station, plans are now drawn up to re-route the railways around the city. How the millions of workers that are needed to fill the offices that are planned on this area are to ever reach their workplaces remains an open question.

Tbilisi’s traffic problems have grown to extremes. With the idea of ‘public’ under pressure, public transit is not developed. Real-estate development is not linked to transportation development. The new suburban developments north and south of the city are likely to increase the problems, although a permanently clogged city will make the new suburbanites stay away. The removal of the train tracks leading into the city might prove a fatal mistake.

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The refugees that were housed in the office tower of Tbilisi Central Station originally came from Abkhazia and South-Ossetia, and occupied the building in 1993. By law, they were offered approximately 9,000 USD for alternative accommodation. The gold market has moved from the central hall to the basement. As of now, the shopping mall stand largely empty. After the war with Russia in the fall of 2008, the economy collapsed and international companies bailed on Georgia.

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Tbilisi Central Station is a landmark to Soviet architectural prowess. With scarcely a train running after the collapse of the USSR, the station became in part gold market, in part hub for the numerous small merchants and cheap rides that swarm the area. The former office tower was inhabited by refugees. In 2007, the Georgian Reconstruction and Development Corporation commissioned Dutch architects Zwarts & Jansma to convert it largely into a B-class shopping mall. Now finished, the ticket counters are connected to a food court in the bridge across the tracks. The main building has been converted to shops. It still houses the gold market.

DREAMS

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Owner: GRDC Group and GMC Holding Creditors: EBRD and IFC Developer: GRDC Group Project Manager: Hill International Retail Consultant: CRE Marketing and Operations Consultant: Colliers CRE Designer: Zwarts & Jansma Main Contractor: Erenport Insaat Areas: Retail: 17,050 sqm 84%; Offices: 3,250 sqm 16%; Total: 20,300 sqm 100%

GOLDEN

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The redevelopment of the central Railway Station of Tbilisi into a downtown shopping mall with a total area of circa 30,000 sqm of gross internal area, plus over 500 surface parking places, local and regional bus stations.

Central Station

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