A major obstacle for the construction of IKEA Israel's third branch in Kiryat Ata has been removed, after Shikun u'Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN), controlled by Shari Arison, after Appeals Committee of Northern Regional Planning and Building Commission dismissed petitions by local storekeepers against the company's plans to build a commercial center at the Kiryat Ata Interchange, next to the Big Krayot Mall of Big Shopping Centers (2004) Ltd. (TASE:BIG).
In August, Shikun u'Binui and British-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE: BRTS) announced that they were in talks for building the third IKEA Israel store at Kiryat Ata. The companies have not yet reached a deal, and IKEA is considering other locations for its third branch.
The Kiryat Ata Local Planning and Building Authority approved Shikun u'Binui's plan for a 162,000-square meter commercial center, which would include 66,814 square meters of main space. Local storekeepers appealed the decision, although they had not previously filed objections, on the grounds that they learned about Shikun u'Binui's application only after it was approved.
The petitioners claimed that the land was not zoned for commercial use, nor was in compliance with National Outline Plan 35, which advised limiting malls on town margins and in rural areas. The storekeepers added that the planned mall would ruin their businesses.
Shikun u'Binui and the Kiryat Ata Local Planning Commission said that the storekeepers had no right to appeal because they did not file objections in time.
The appeals committee rejected the petition, ruling that the proposed land use in the plan conformed with the zoning of the Kiryat Ata Interchange industrial park.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 30, 2011
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