Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

3 Shevat 5759 - Jan. 20, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Promoter of the Mamilla Shopping Mall, Alfred Akirov Resigns, Demands Compensation

by Betzalel Kahn

Promoter of the Mamilla Shopping Mall, Alfred Akirov, has announced that he is dropping the project in which he had invested millions of dollars. He is demanding that the Karta company compensate him for all of the money he invested in the project.

This was learned at the end of a deliberation held with the arbitrator agreed upon by both sides, Justice Sholom Berner. Representatives of both parties and their attorneys appeared before the arbitrator. Attorneys Yaakov Dovrobitzer and Reuven Reuven represented Karta, while Attorney Roni Klacksband represented Elrov, the company building the Mamilla mall.

Attorney Klacksband informed the arbitrator that his client, Alfred Akirov, owner of Elrov, had decided to relinquish the project because of the tremendous delays that have taken place. Concomitantly, Akirov demands that the State reimburse him for all of his investment, estimated at millions of dollars, by means of the Karta company, the source of the project's many delays.

Many in the Karta company welcome Akirov's dropping of the project at this point. One Karta representative told Yated Ne'eman that the land had been sold to Akirov by the State at only 20% of its value and that the State Comptroller has sharply criticized this transaction. This Karta representative claims that if another promoter agrees to continue the project in accordance with regional zoning laws, the State would profit much more than it did in its initial transaction with Akirov and therefore would not lose by Akirov's abandonment of the project.

Last week, the High Court reviewed the appeal of MK Avraham Poraz of Meretz, who demanded that the Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister and the Housing Minister, sign permits approving the building of the Mamilla mall, in light of Karta's Board of Directors refusal to do so.

The developer wanted a variance from the Karta company to include cinemas in the project. The board of Karta refused to allow this since the zoning does not permit cinemas in that area. The developer responded with a media campaign accusing the Karta board of acting from religious motives since many of them are religious. The board maintains that its motives are purely business and legal.


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