From Dalma gardens to Dalma Mall: Armenian company launches the construction of the biggest shopping center in Yerevan

While a company, having the ambition of possessing the largest trade and entertainment center in Armenia does the presentation of its project, more than 600 people, having gardens in that very territory, complain against the compensation policy of the company.

On October 26 (Monday), presenting the project of ‘Dalma Garden Mall’ trade center, director of the company Alexander Harutyunyan stated that more than 150 companies will be situated in the two floors and the roof of the building that will occupy a territory of 45,000 square meters.

“While shopping visitors of the trade center will also be able to watch films in a cinema, play bowling or drink a cup of coffee at the café. Considering the creation of a family atmosphere in ‘Dalma Garden Mall’ to be a primary issue, we will regularly organize parties for children and live concerts,” Harutyunyan says.

“We have chosen a very good place for our center,” the director of the trade and entertainment center added, whereas it is already for a few years that the territory of ‘Dalma Garden Mall’ causes public complaints.

According to the decisions of the Armenian Government, made in 2003-2004, 256 hectares of the general 530 hectares of Dalma Gardens were considered to be of agricultural significance, and they were given to about 700 land-users. Ten-year tenancy agreements were signed with the municipality of Yerevan in this respect. It was decided to use the rest of the territory on the implementation of city building major projects; ‘Dalma Garden Mall’ is among them.

Harutyunyan stressed that they have settled all the present problems: “This territory is our property, and we have compensated all the land-users.”

Ruzanna Ghazaryan, member of a group initiating the creation of an NGO (non-governmental organization) defending Dalma land-users’ interests, stresses that the center is being built without a final agreement with 640 land-users.

“They are going to found their center on curses, because in that very territory land-users gathered stones and created a garden for 15-20 years. Now bulldozers dig out vineyards, and they build the largest entertainment center in that very territory. There was neither a fair compensation, nor a solution to the lands issue,” she says.