A building that had been half-built since Soviet
times has recently been finished and seven ministries
of the government will be moving their offices
The new government building is just off Republic
Square on Nalbandyan Street and the hope is that
by consolidating ministry locations the work of
government will be more convenient and efficient.
The completion of the building is part of a
mission by President Robert Kocharyan to finish
construction on city-center buildings that have
been idle for more than a decade.
International Business Center (IBC), a company
owned by an organization of Russian-Armenian businessmen
was awarded the construction project. In exchange
for their work on the new government building,
IBC was given three buildings previously housing
the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Healthcare
and the Ministry of Social Security.
finally-finished government building will
house seven ministries.
"There were offers of purchase (of the
unfinished building) for 87,000,000 - 116,000,000
Drams (about $150,000-200,000)," said David
Vardanyan, head of the Department of Control over
State-Owned Property. "Later there was a
meeting with the President during which it was
decided to keep it for the government and to move
ministries there as their expenses will be cut
down being in one building. A contract was signed,
according to which the organization that would
finish construction of that building would be
given the buildings of three ministries."
The deal was settled without conducting any contests.
Completion of the new building was valued at
about $2 million, whereas as the market price
of the three old ministry buildings is estimated
at about three times that much, $5.4 million.
Still, the director of "AS" real estate
agency Torgom Hovhanisyan says that the deal was
profitable, as the old ministry offices no longer
are relevant. "Buildings with small spaces
are in demand in the city," he says. "It's
almost impossible to sell big spaces. Nobody wants
to purchase buildings with big spaces."
The new government building is 7,000 square meters
- about 2.5 times smaller than the total space
of the seven ministries previous offices.
Some workers have objected to the move, saying
that offices in the new building are too cramped.
And some departments (for instance the Employment
Agency of the Ministry of Social Security) have
refused to move. Workers also complained that
they were forced to pay 5,000 drams (about $8.60)
for moving expenses. One deputy minister of the
Ministry of Social Security was fired, and some
are saying it was due to the move into smaller
Government press secretary Mary Harutyunyan says
cut-backs of staff are expected "however
it has no relation with the relocation of the