Conditional upon investments of at least $100 million, Armenian legislation will allow for a casino to be built near the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex located in the western part of Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia, according to Arman Sahakyan, the head of the Armenian state property administration.
Privatization of Armenia’s largest state-owned sports and concert hall took place earlier this month when the complex named after Karen Demirchyan, former speaker of the Armenian parliament and Soviet and Armenian politician was sold to newly registered Armenian company, NTAA Investment Group LLC for $30 million. The group will implement an investment program estimated to exceed $100 million over the next four years.
Plans by the new owner for the complex which is located near the Armenian Genocide memorial complex, Tsitsernakaberd, next to the Hrazdan River, include a large entertainment center with concert halls, hotel, an indoor water park, stores, conference rooms, and restaurants. It is estimated that the renovation will create up to 350 new jobs. Rumors of a casino being built at the complex have been met with public outcry and have been denounced by Rima Demirchyan, the widow of the complex’s namesake, due to its close proximity to the memorial.
Sahakyan said, “The program that is the core of the deal will breathe new life into the popular complex. We must manage to turn the Sports and Concert Complex into one of the most active facilities in the city, while maintaining its architectural design at the same time.” The head of the Armenian state property administration also said that all contractual matters and obligations will be handled by the state property administration, while project implementation is under strict public control. He said that the architectural design of the complex will not be affected by possible construction.