The FINANCIAL -- SEU Development was established in 2014. Since then it has launched its first project, which is currently in the process of construction – Green Yard, a 19-storey building on Politkovskaya St. with a 1500 sq.m green zone. SEU is a familiar name for the Georgian market, as Georgian National University is known by the aforementioned abbreviation. A lot of current employees of SEU Development worked on the University as well, therefore, the personnel were well-versed in the field even before the company was established.
Zurab Mekvabishvili, co-founder and CEO of SEU Development, answered some of the questions regarding the company.
Q. What do you think about the state of architecture in Tbilisi?
A. The situation, obviously, is very alarming – buildings are constructed without any regard for the environment or local aesthetics and the city lacks general planning. In my view, however, the situation is not hopeless – in order to turn the tide and make Tbilisi more visually appealing, companies will have to actively collaborate with the Mayor’s office. In order to bring the state of the city to a satisfying level, at least 10-15 years will be necessary.
Q. What differentiates SEU Development from the rest of its competitors?
A. Well, we have several main principles we work around. First of all, it is the characteristics of the building itself. The material out of which the buildings are and will be constructed is highly energy-efficient, which is both good for the environment and the finances of our customers. We import our building materials from some of the best companies worldwide, like Austrian DOKA.
When it comes to the business of building, in my opinion, saving on construction is not a viable option – the building itself should be of the best quality possible, as any kind of lack of care in this regard can have very damaging results in the long run.
We pay enormous attention to research – we conduct market studies regularly and get information from every viable source out there. Customer feedback is of paramount importance to us – we get hundreds of calls from potential customers and we make the dialogue as interactive as possible. SEU Development tries to accommodate the needs of its customers, our relationship is largely symbiotic.
At the same time, we strongly focus on helping emigrants settle back in Georgia – we provide them not only with good payment options, but also with assistance in institutional relations, for example, with banks.
Our first complex on Politkovskaya St. saw massive success – we managed to sell all the flats out, 116 in total, in only 4 months and the building is yet to be completed. We think that several factors helped us hit this high mark. First of all, it is the quality of the building itself – with good thermo and sound insulation, solid construction. Secondly, the complex was adapted to the constant feedback we’ve been getting from the potential customers themselves. No less important was the location of the building – it is very close to the centre, the neighborhood is very quiet and within walking distance from several universities, as well as a train station. At the same time, the ecology of the district is superior to that of many alternatives – for example, it is around 40-50 meters above Avlabari, which would not be decisive in a rural setting, but proves crucial in pollution-heavy cities like Tbilisi.
We ensured that our complex follows the 41st resolution to the last word. People with disabilities are provided with maximum comfort in our flats.
Q. Ecology is a hot topic both in Georgia and worldwide. What steps did SEU take in order to ensure its contribution to improvement of Tbilisi’s situation in this regard?
A. We have 1500 sq.m of land specifically devoted to this cause. We hired experienced florists to help us manage the space and our focus is on quality and consistency – the yards and recreational spaces have years-long plans on what will be planted there, to ensure that the land is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Q. What is the percentage of down payment in purchases?
A. Around 70% of purchases are in down payment, usually with five to ten year payment options. We provide many different choices in this regard, so that every customer has an opportunity to find a suitable way for themselves.
Q. Do you have any new projects in line?
A. We are currently working on three projects. Firstly, we want get our Green Yard project operational as soon as possible. The investment is in the region of GEL 8 million. We plan to add 3 more buildings on Politkovskaya Street – 5, 8 and 12 storey buildings, which will cost around GEL 12 million. At the same time, we are planning to build premium housing in the old town, which will become the signature project of our company. This will be a USD 26 million investment. The complex will feature not only housing, but also a 4 to 5 star hotel – we are currently negotiating with several brands and will make the best choice out of them. What’s more, we will include apartment-hotels and office & business space. We are putting a maximum amount of effort into design development, as the old city is one of Tbilisi’s most cherished regions and a major tourist attraction. In the future, we are planning to move away from the centre and participate in the process which was often highlighted in the mayoral elections – decentralizing the city. SEU Development considers this a major issue as well. We are actively looking into opportunities of building in Didi Digomi, Gldani and Varketili, so expect much more from us in the future.