In the past few days, The Armenian Patriarchate has regretfully been the victim of numerous false and slanderous accusations from members of its own community. These accusations are with reference to the latest agreement signed between the Armenian Patriarchate and the Jerusalem Municipality regarding the empty plot of Land located opposite to the Armenian Patriarchate building (also known as Goveroon Pardez).
It is important for us to emphasize that these statements are not only false, but also defame the good name of our Patriarchate, priests, and representatives, and we are therefore obliged to clarify the facts about what The Patriarchate considers to be one of the most important agreements signed as of this past century:
1) The signing of this agreement marks the first time that any official authority recognizes the Patriarchate’s ownership of this plot of land.
2) The removal of the earth from the plot of land (and the old city), valued at more than 2 Million US$, is a financial obligation that the Patriarchate, by itself, does not have the financial capacity to undertake.
3) As you all may be aware of, the Armenian Patriarchate has been negotiating with multiple governmental bodies for the removal of the earth from this plot of land, each time running into multiple obstacles. As we see it, this agreement not only allows us to solve this issue once and for all, but also removes the financial obligation from The Patriarchate.
4) Following the removal of the earth, the Jerusalem Municipality will be responsible to construct a modern parking lot that will accommodate at least an additional 200 parking spaces (in addition to the currently available parking spaces).
5) In return for its investment, the Jerusalem Municipality will only use 90 parking spaces for a maximum period of 10 years starting on the 1st of January 2021.
6) It is important for us to clarify that the parking lot will remain private and that the management, operation, and ownership of the parking lot will remain in the hands of the Patriarchate.
7) As owners of the parking lot, the Patriarchate will be allowed to collect an entrance fee for the 110 new parking spaces.
8) The parking entrance fee will be decided solely by the Patriarchate and will be comparable to what other public parking lots in the area charge, therefore earning the Patriarchate an additional source of income.
9) No taxes whatsoever will be paid by the Patriarchate. The Jerusalem Municipality will be responsible for the payment of the Arnona and Betterment tax for the whole duration of the agreement.
10) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, within the next 10 years, once the Patriarchate has finalized and received all construction permits for this plot of land, the agreement with the Jerusalem Municipality will automatically come to an end and The Patriarchate will begin new construction that will further benefit our Armenian community.
We would like to assure you that everything our Patriarchate is doing is solely in the interest of our Armenian community, The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and the St. James Convent.
The Department of Real Estate
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem