This week, Batumi Boulevard announced plans to open a tender for a company to provide functional zoning and landscaping on and around the boulevard. The boulevard is being updated in accordance with city development plans, which include preserving the historic parts of the boulevard and expanding its footprint, with particular emphasis on preserving its character and nearby historic buildings.
The Batumi Boulevard was born in 1881 as a seaside park built by a German landscape artist, commissioned by the governor of Batumi. Today’s boulevard, divided into old and new parts, is approximately 7 kilometers long.
The company selected by the Batumi Boulevard will have one year to complete the work, at a cost of 435,000 GEL ($151,300). The three-part project will include research, the creation of a development plan, and the production of guidelines for the administrators of the Batumi Boulevard to follow. The project aims to produce a development plan that will preserve the landscape and architectural beauty of the old Boulevard, while establishing new recreation areas that can be enjoyed by both locals and tourists, and people of all ages and abilities. The deadline to submit a bid is August 19.
The announcement is part of a series of efforts over the past few years to update and improve the tourist infrastructure of Batumi.
In June 2016, then-Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Archil Khabadze, announced plans to invest $40 million in the development and reconstruction of the New Boulevard of Batumi. The original plan allocated 50% of the territory to tourist-recreation zones, and included the construction of hotels and other tourist-focused facilities.
32,000 square meters of the New Boulevard of Batumi was previously been put up for auction with a starting price of $2.3 million. Orbi Group Millennium Construction Company bought it for $4.3 million. More than $520 million was invested in the New Boulevard’s reconstruction in 2016.
In August 2018, the Municipal Development Fund of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), announced plans to commit $21 million to protect beaches and refurbish pedestrian bridges in the city. 12 pedestrian bridges will be constructed, and the damaged sections of the boulevard will be refurbished. The works are scheduled to be completed this year. In 2015, a similar project amounting to $20 million was also supported by the ADB.
Among all the investment and ad-hoc projects, this week’s announcement marks the beginning of a new phase of development for the Batumi Boulevard, which will be led and framed in by a development plan. The most recent Batumi Development Strategy, 2018-2021 was approved by the Batumi City Assembly in April of last year. “For the first time in the history of the municipality, we managed to develop a full 2018-2021 strategy for Batumi Municipality. This is a 240-page document, a very detailed book, for each service, in which all the measures necessary to achieve the goals set for the next four years, all the methods, timelines, budget, etc. are broken down into detail,” said Batumi Mayor Lasha Komakhidze.
In the nearby town of Kobuleti, earlier this month renovations were completed on a two-kilometer stretch of coastline. The Municipal Development Fund of Georgia headed the renovation works, which cost GEL 9 million ($3.13 mln). The World Bank funded GEL 2 million ($70,000) of the total cost, with the state budget covering the rest. The rehabilitation works in Kobuleti began in 2017, but were delayed. The contract with the original construction company was cancelled after public outrage at the delays, and, ultimately, the State Construction Company completed the project.
Source: www.georgiatoday.ge, By Samantha Guthrie
Image source: In Your Pocket