Eighty-six year-old Albert Makyan, who lives at 44 Hanrapetutyan Street in Yerevan, posted a sign above the entrance to his home that reads, “Please don’t try touching 44 Hanrapetutyan.”
The 23-member family is in limbo.
If the private property, now considered eminent domain is flattened, 11 young children will become homeless since the Makyan’s promised home, as compensation, has yet to be built by the developers.
The Yerevan Municipality has listed “Firdusi” neighborhood and 44 Hanrapetutyan as eminent domain. At the end of February the home’s neighboring properties were demolished and the area was flattened.
On demolition day Makyan took the permit from the diggers’ hands and ripped it up. The permit allowed for part of Makyan’s property to be flattened, so he didn’t let them near.
On November 20, 2008, the Armenian government decided to designate various properties as eminent domain in the public’s interest. The property in question was handed over to City Centre Development LLC. The company signed an agreement with Makyan in 2009 transferring ownership of the 126.2 sq m. residential home, the 645 sq m. property and the surrounding buildings and territories, all valued at 201 million dram.
As part of the agreement, City Centre Development committed to appropriate seven homes in an apartment building, three parking spaces and a public space in Yerevan’s 33rd District to the Makyans 42 months (3.5 years) after the signing. The company had 12 months to back out of the agreement. Six years have passed since the agreement was signed and the construction time limit was set at 1.5 years.So far, only the building’s foundation and the first floor have been built and construction has stopped.
City Centre Development was founded in 2006. The company operates at the same address as Glendale Hills and Downtown Yerevan LLC, which has the rights to develop Kond.
The above video was produced by the company in May 2012 to prove that construction was underway in the 33rd district. As of the end of March, nothing has changed as Hetq’s photos clearly show. What’s more, construction equipment has been removed from the area and the tower crane will be relocated soon.
“They’re saying that they aren’t building homes anymore, they have no money, they can’t build,” Makyan said. “They gave me this contract, and now they’re breaking it, deceiving us. They didn’t build the first building or the second one. If the notary, the government, that seal and signature are all valid, then how can you have that kind of attitude towards people? It means war will break out between us.”
The person on behalf of the company giving that explanation, according to Makyan, is named Tigran. Tigran refused to answer our questions by phone or even meet with us. He told Hetq that a specific department in the company handles such requests and if the need arises they will contact us. “Be satisfied with the response that we have notified them [of your request] in writing,” Tigran told Hetq. The Makyans, however, have not received an answer to date.
Albert Makyan has appealed to the government. The Ministry of Finance responded that the official agency that handles matters related to expropriation is the Yerevan Municipality as well as the appropriator, City Centre Development. “We inform you that City Centre Development is responsible for its own obligations related to its own properties,” stated the head of the Ministry of Finance Legal Department Armen Gabrielyan.
|Design Plans for Buildings to be Constructed in the 33rd District|
Mr. Makyan also appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office. Deputy Prosecutor of Yerevan S. Arakelyan replied that the matter was out of the Prosecutor General Office’s jurisdiction and is subject to being settled in court since the issue involves civil liability.
The residents of 44 Hanrapetutyan sent a letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Prime Minister Hovik Aprahamyan stating: “Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, the 33rd District is in deplorable, unsanitary condition. We demand that we be furnished with apartments as was agreed upon in the initial agreement. We have not received a concrete answer from the construction department. One hundred fifty square meters of property have been demolished, more than 30 trees were cut and the surrounding areas have been damaged. If the apartments will not be built, we demand that our property deeds be returned to us so that we may put our living space in order.”
|Makyan Family Property Already Demolished (highlighted in red)|
The Makyan family came to Yerevan from Baku in 1988. The message painted by Mr. Makyan on the rear door promises “death” to trespassers. In his eyes, the law takes priority.