Thursday, 21 November

Sakharov Square Building: Another Case of Misplaced 'Eminent Domain'

The building in the photo, located at 2 Pushkin Street facing Sakharov Square, is registered as a local monument.

The government has allocated it to an outfit called Local Developers, Ltd., a company founded by Samvel Mayrapetyan and his wife Gohar Kyalyan, former rector of the State Medical University.

The building was designed by the architect N. Buniatyan and went up in 1930.

Up until last year, the building housed the No. 8 fire and emergency services unit of the RA Ministry of Emergency Situations. In September, the unit relocated to a new building on Myasnikian Street.

The building now serves as a garage for local residents and officials of nearby government agencies. The parking spaces are being rented out. A local lad named Davit refuted the claim that the parking spaces are being rented out by the month. Davit told me that the cars belong to his friends and relatives and that the fire brigade chief had requested that he keep his eyes on the site so that the homeless don’t move in.

Samvel Mayrapetyan could say nothing about the parked cars. He claimed ignorance and said that he hadn’t started to provide security for the site.

On May 7, 2009, the government decided to allocate the building to Mayrapetyan, arguing that the new owner would thus be compensated for agreeing to cover the costs of building a new structure for the fire and emergency unit on Myasnikian Street.

In response to a Hetq inquiry sent to the Yerevan Municipality, the Office of the Chief Architect said that the municipality had granted no construction permits regarding the building.

Samvel Mayrapetyan told Hetq that he hadn’t yet decided what his plans are for the landmark building, given that the process of buying up the property of residents in the immediate vicinity hadn’t been completed.

Thus, it turns out that not only has the landmark building been allocated to Samvel Mayrapetyan under the pretense of eminent domain, but adjacent properties as well.

(To be continued)

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