Jerusalem Armenian Quarter’s ‘Goveroun Bardez’ (‘Cows’ Garden’), Valued at $27-$39 Billion, Illegally Leased Under a Veil of Darkness
Posted on October. 13. 2021
BY APPO JABARIAN Executive Publisher / Managing Editor USA Armenian Life Magazine (English-language print edition) USA Armenian Life E-Newsletter (Electronic Distribution — e-blast) Hye Kiank Armenian Weekly (Armenian-language print edition) USA Armenian Life FACEBOOK www.armenianlife.com
The major controversy continues to grow over a potentially scandalous real estate deal in Jerusalem Armenian Quarter involving what is now dubbed as “Patriarchate Pair” – Patriarch Arch. Nourhan Manougian and Patriarchate’s Real Estate Director Fr. Bared Yeretsian.
The long-term lease had been unilaterally pushed forward by a minority segment on the Patriarchate’s Holy Synod while the contract remained secret. The seemingly ill-vised lease deal is identified by well-informed sources to be in violation of the Patriarchate’s Constitution. Under the Patriarchate’s Constitution, no land can be leased for more than 25 years without the approval of the General Assembly of Saints James Brotherhood.
One of the most valuable rea estate properties in the world even more valuable than Manhattan and Hong Kong, the Armenian Quarter is one of the four quarters of the walled Old City of Jerusalem. Located in the southwestern corner of the Old City, reportedly occupies an area of 0.126 km² (126 dunam), which is 14% of the Old City’s total.
During recent conversations with two independent experts on real estate and land value in the Old City of Jerusalem, it became clear that one square meter is valued at no less than $5 million. In certain cases it is valued at more than $6 million.
In order to assist the USA Armenian Life Magazine and TV readers/viewers in properly estimating the real value of the land space being illegally ‘leased’ to a ‘businessman from Australia,’ USA Armenian Life solicited 1) knowledgeable real estate experts in Jerusalem Old City; 2) parking lot design and engineering professionals.
According to a reliable source within the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate, ‘The Goveroun Bardez’ land parcel within the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem can accommodate the parking needs of around 180 cars. How much space is needed to park 150-180 cars? In an article titled “Parking Takes Up More Space Than You Think,” Angie Schmitt, a Cleveland-based writer with a background in planning and newspaper reporting, wrote on usa.streetsblog.org notes that “if a two-way driveway serves a single row of parking spaces, each space plus its share of the driveway consumes a whopping 396 square feet (36.8 square meters)” per car.
The ‘Goveroun Bardez’ land parcel’s size can be estimated at between 5,520 sq. m. in case it accommodates 150 cars; 6,624 sq. m. if it can accommodate 180 cars.
The market value of the ‘Goveroun Bardez’ land parcel can be calculated as follows:
At $5 million per sq. m., The ‘Goveroun Bardez’ land parcel’s value ranges between $27 and $33 Billion.
150 cars x 36.8 square meters = 5,520 sq. m. x $5million per sq. m. = $27.60 Billion
180 cars x 36.8 square meters = 6,624 sq. m. x $5million per sq. m. = $33.12 Billion
At $6 million per sq. m., The ‘Goveroun Bardez’ land parcel’s value ranges between $33 and $39 Billion.
150 cars x 36.8 square meters = 5,520 sq. m. x $5million per sq. m. = $33.12 Billion
180 cars x 36.8 square meters = 6,624 sq. m. x $5million per sq. m. = $39.74 Billion
A Jerusalem-born American Armenian, and vice president of Strategy for Global Services of creating winning public affairs strategies for businesses and state and local governments; an advocate on Neighborhood Councils for civic engagement and higher education, Mihran Kalaydjian stated to USA Armenian Life Magazine: “It’s sad what is happening in the Armenian Patriciate of Jerusalem. There should be a private investigation into their personal accounts as spiritual leaders (as if) and to involve the Israeli prevention of money laundry authorities.”
Kalaydjian underlined: “From when the patriarch and his director of real estate began their effort, one could smell a rat. Why consider the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate a trustworthy institution when it’s the play thing of two men whose incompetence is not confined to real estate? Although Jerusalem’s Old City land is one of the most expensive in the world, the Patriarch is happy with the $1 million the Australian gave him. What about a share of the loot for real estate impresario Fr. Yeretsian?”
“JERUSALEM ARMENIAN LANDS IN THE ARMENIAN QUARTER OF THE OLD CITY BELONGS TO ARMENIANS. PERIOD.” It is under this slogan that a protest rally has been organized this Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 at 3:30 PM in in front of Armenian patriarchate’s “cows garden” protesting the illegal 99-yr. lease of Holy Land parcel to a non-Armenian entity — the Jerusalem Municipality and/or any secret investor from Australia!
The Jerusalem Armenian protest rally announcement boldly states: “THE COWS GARDEN OF ARMENIANS IS NOT AVAILABLE NEITHER FOR SALE NOR FOR LEASE!!!” The rally is organized by a body called Int’l Committee of Protectors of Armenian Lands. (See ad below)
Many Armenians in Armenia and Diaspora are troubled because of a) the illegality of the 99-year lease of ‘Goveroun Bardez’ (‘Cows’ Garden’); b) The illegal lease continues to be kept under a veil of darkness; c) The Patriarchate pair are playing with fire when they are facilitating the misappropriation of a land that is not for sale. It belongs to the Armenian nation. Period.
As long as Catholicos Karekin II continues to remain unpunished for misappropriating around $150-$200 million from India’s Armenian community through illegally acquired real estate and/or financial assets, then the Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Pair — Arch. Nourhan Manougian and Fr. Bared Yeretsian may be encouraged to think “Why not misappropriate hundreds of million or possibly billions of dollars from illegal 99-year lease of ‘Goveroun Bardez’ (Cows’ Garden’) in the Jerusalem Armenian Quarter and pocket the funds?”