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Although it was put on the planning books in the earlier part of the 1900s, and no construction was allowed in this section of the city ever since, the actual plan was never implemented during Soviet times. A decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Yerevan decided to start building the avenue. The National Gallery and History Museum in Republic Square was never meant to be built where it was, according to original plans. Now the Northern Avenue will abut the building, rather than open up into Republic Square.
The cash strapped government could not afford to build the new avenue, so they decided to let private interests finance it. First the government bought up all the small properties along the route of the street, consolidated the land into larger, more buildable lots of land for high-rise developers, and auctioned those (now more valuable) lots off. This process was done section by section, and raised a great deal of complaints from the previous landowners who were not compensated at market prices - and whose land was being resold at much higher prices. They could not afford to buy the same sized homes anywhere near the center of Yerevan with the cash they were given. Coersion has been alleged, a lawyer for the previous landowners was arrested/held/then released, and some of the old landowners have promised to take the case to the European Courts.
Another controversial issue has been the dismantling of older buildings of architectural and/or historical significance. Many of these had their facade stone numbered and disassembled to be rebuilt elsewhere (most likely the first one or two storeys of high rise buildings on the Main Avenue - also under construction), but detractors maintain the flavor of the old city will be (or has been) lost forever.
"HAVE YOU BEEN TO NORTH AVENUE?.."
A1+ | 18:26:05 | 06-09-2005 | Social |
Yesterday the ome residents were even paid $925-980. When asked in which Yerevan districts it is possible to by a flat K. Davtyan said, "For example Angetta Muradyan can buy 30 square meters in the center of Yerevan. However, he could not tell how a family consisting of 10 members will leave on 30 square meters. (to note, Muradyans' house has been already pulled down)
Karen Davtyan did not rule out the possibility of increasing the amount of compensation if "the investor wishes to do it."
FIRST SECTION OF NORTHERN AVENUE OPENS
May 30 2006
YEREVAN, MAY 30, NOYAN TAPAN. "After completion of Northern Avenue we'll have the most modern district of Yerevan," Mayor of Yerevan Yervand Zakharian stated during the opening ceremony of Northern Avenue's first section on May 29.
In his words, Northern Avenue designed for pedestrain traffic combines the best ideas that the great architect Alexander Tamanian had 50 years ago and the requirements of modern urban development. Northern Avenue that occupies a 8-ha area and is 450 meters in length links Freedom Square (designed by A. Tamanian) with its Opera House with Republic Square where the Governmental buildings are located. Parking lots for a thousand cars will be built in the underground section of Northern Avenue. There will be 25-27 building complexes of residential-business type on Northern Avenue. Former chief architect of Yerevan Narek Sargsian is the chief architect of the project on construction of Northern Avenue. Mayor of Yerevan attached importance to the participation of the Armenian-Russian joint venture North Island in construction of Northern Avenue. The Russian shareholder of the company is the Makarius Group. According to Director General of Makarius Group Gitas Anilionis, many apartments and offices of Northern Avenue's first section have already been sold. E. Zakharian said that an area of about 13 thousand sq.m. in two completed buildings of Northern Avenue has been delivered for operation. Construction of the other two sections will finish by late 2007. Investments of 200-250 mln USD will be made in construction of Northern Avenue.
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- Armenia's First Ombudswoman Presented Her Special Report (good details on the land seizures)
- Downtown Yerevan Street Map