EBRD supports property development in Armenia

By Loretta Martikian

The EBRD is supporting the property sector in Armenia with a loan for the construction of a new residential and commercial complex in the Armenian capital Yerevan.

In the Bank’s first transaction under the EBRD Direct Lending Facility in Armenia's property sector, the EBRD is providing $5.5 million to Elite Group, one of the leading real-estate companies in the country, to build a new modern development in the popular Arabkir area of Yerevan.

Despite the negative impact of the financial crisis on the luxury property sector, the demand for competitively-priced apartments in Armenia is still robust. This project will enable Elite Group to meet the demand of middle-class and Diaspora Armenians for affordable housing.

The new complex, called Northern Ray, will consist of two 16-storey symmetrical towers, 14 of which will be used for residential purposes, while the first two floors will be offered for commercial use. The development will have three underground parking levels.

Due to special construction techniques, including mono-block reinforced concrete frames, the building will have a high earthquake resistance of up to 9 on the Richter scale.

The EBRD loan is complemented by grant funds of €260,000 from the Bank’s Shareholder Special Fund, which will be used to assist Elite Group in implementing energy efficiency measures.

Northern Ray will benefit from well insulated windows, low energy consumption light bulbs and heating system, which will ensure lower operating costs and reduced bills to future residents.

"This is an important project for the EBRD”, says Paul-Henri Forestier, the EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova & Belarus. “We are especially pleased to introduce the energy saving component and work with Elite Group, which is committed to implementing new technologies in construction and design. I hope this project will set a precedent for high quality standards in the construction industry.”

“We are delighted that the EBRD has extended their trust in our company while brining its expertise, assistance and cooperation. The Bank’s support gives us an opportunity to enhance our skills to international standards. This cooperation is not only a new boost to the property sector, it is also a great motivation and confidence for our future development in the regions of the country”, said Armen Mkoyan, Elite Group CEO.

The EBRD is the largest single investor in Armenia. To date the Bank has committed over €240 million in 64 projects in all major sectors of the economy. Over the past four years, the EBRD’s investment in Armenia has more than quadrupled and reached €125 million across 43 projects.