Project of Univer – a new technological and business hub in Vanadzor
What is Univer Vanadzor?
The name Univer was chosen taking into account the power of habit, because, as a rule, old structures have long-established namings among the public, and they are quite difficult to change, even in case of a complete change in the functions of the structure. Therefore, since we are talking about the once famous department store building in Vanadzor, which the people of Vanadzor call “round univermag”, the authors of the project chose the “Univer” option. Univer in this case carries the meanings of “universal” and also the colloquial version of the word university in English, “univer”, symbolizing the multi-functional, educational and complex nature of the structure.
— Some people say the people of Vanadzor love their city very much, and I am not an exception, but in addition to feelings, I also try to show that love through the implementation of similar projects. I am ready to invest all my knowledge, experience and personal and professional connections. I have no doubts about the success of the project, because all the circumstances and realities are taken into account.
Krist Marukyan, author of the Univer project
Under its roof, Univer will host regional offices of local and international tech companies, conference and training spaces, a gym, fitness and other auxiliary facilities in the basement, hotel rooms in the northern wing building, as well as an outdoor and indoor cafe and restaurant areas on the roof. This type of solution of the roof will have a unique appeal because from there a wonderful panorama opens up to the Vanadzor cityscapes and of course to the Gugark and Pambak mountain ranges that embrace Vanadzor.
The structure is one of the essential symbolic points of Vanadzor’s urban interface and giving it a new breath will bring a serious change to the general environment as well.
The total cost of the Univer Vanadzor project is 4.1 million USD, the minimum investment threshold is 1 million USD, and after the investment, the construction will last up to 8 months. The profit margin (EBITDA) is 25%, and the payback period is 7 years. A 60% share in the company is offered in exchange for full investment, which is also possible to negotiate taking into account other circumstances.
The idea of Univer
The origin of the idea is based on valid motivations to use the real potential of Vanadzor city, to create opportunities for human capital development and self-expression, to offer options for the expansion of IT companies operating in Yerevan to the regions of Armenia, and of course to bring positive changes in the lifestyle of Vanadzor. For years, Vanadzor has not been involved in investment projects, and the geographical position of the city as a junction of north-south (Armenia-Georgia), west-east (Shiark and Tavush provinces), industrial heritage, and urban environment has not been properly utilized.
The authors of the project intend to make Vanadzor the next investment destination through Univer, as the above motivations include serious financial calculations, profitability, and economic attractiveness, in addition to the social component. The feasibility of the idea is also substantiated based on the direct discussions with companies operating in the tech and business segments and the study of existing problems in the region.
What problems will the Univer project solve?
As a result of the implementation of the project, it will be possible to qualitatively cut the outflow of young personnel to Yerevan, at the same time giving the opportunity to Yerevan-based professionals to move to a calmer and more favorable environment, maintaining their standard of living. Armenian tech companies and startups will have the opportunity to increase their regional teams thanks to more affordable, but also in no way compromising conditions. Univer will also become a toursim attraction for Vanadzor, taking into account the location of the building and the rooftop cafe and restaurant sections with beautiful panoramic views. According to preliminary calculations, Univer’s office premises will have a total capacity of up to 800 people and taking into account the educational and professional qualifications of these employees, the culture they carry, it can be argued that their presence will bring an exclusively positive change in the environment.
The conference and training sections will be used mainly for educational purposes: seminars, trainings, conferences and interesting meetups, which will also be aimed at professional development and knowledge transfer.
The hotel rooms will mainly be used for professionals on business trips, participants or speakers of seminars, trainings and conferences in Vanadzor, ensuring an appropriate level of service.
Infrastructure developments in Vanadzor and the region
Univer will become the driving power for the city of Vanadzor, turning Vanadzor into the next destination for investments. It will increase the interest towards the city in general, and in particular, attract residential, hospitality and other investment projects. The established companies will bring with them an influx of new people and organizations, which in turn will see opportunities for new projects in the city, revealing the existing potential.
For years, the programs implemented in Lori Province have targeted rural communities, including educational, tourist and other projects. With the implementation of Univer, it will be possible to focus the attention of development programs on the city itself, in the sense of reevaluating the role and importance of Vanadzor, as the third largest city in Armenia, in the region.
The idea of Univer and its implementers
The author of the idea is Krist Marukyan, the CEO of the “Grand Lori” company, who is a native of Vanadzor, a specialist in management and project implementation with more than 20 years of successful experience, who is again trying to serve the development of his hometown.
The architect Tigran Galstyan, who is also from Vanadzor, but has a number of successfully implemented architectural projects throughout Armenia, is involved in giving Univer a new look.
Peto Karapetyan is the person responsible for the financial part of the project. He is an economist, financial specialist and high-class professional with rich theoretical and practical knowledge.
In addition to the main team, the author of the project during the last 4 months had many meetings with founders and managers of IT companies, businessmen implementing similar projects, architects, real estate management market specialists, investors and investment companies, representatives of various state and international institutions. As a result of all these meetings and discussions, the project was polished and got the look it is now presented to the public and potential investors.
Investments in the project of Univer
In addition to individual presentations, the project was presented on July 19 of this year on the investin.am platform, which bridges investment proposals with 1,000+ potential investors in Armenia, as well as presents products exported from Armenia to importers operating in 100+ countries. The platform was created by Invest in AEM CJSC, whose shareholders are from 11 different countries, and the main shareholders are Hovsep Patvakanyan and Aram Kaifajian from Armenia. The company provides comprehensive business consulting services, from starting a business to developing and implementing business plans.
“Grand Lori” company has undertaken the mission of presenting the investment potential of Vanadzor through high-quality and professionally developed projects. Several more projects will be published in the near future, which are currently being worked on.