The Israel Land Administration will, in a few months, publish a tender for an 80-dunam (20-acre) site along Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv Promenade, overlooking the Old City. The site, which is being marketed as "the hotel ridge compound", is zoned for 6-7 hotels averaging seven floors with 1,350 rooms altogether. The first tender, for a lot used until the 1990s by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Agriculture, is zoned for four hotels with 730 rooms.
Israel Government Tourism Corporation CEO David Mingelgreen says that the complex is unique because it is solely for tourism, and without any residential apartments, of the kind that exist in other luxury hotel projects in Jerusalem, such as Mamilla and the Waldorf Astoria, which opened in December 2012. He says that Jerusalem has a severe shortage of three and four-star hotels for mid-market tourists, compared with hotels for the top 1%.
"Although tourism is hit by extreme security incidents, and the hotel occupancy rate in Jerusalem has been stable over the past three years at 65%," says Mingelgreen. "This is the first compound since the 1990s which will be developed for three and four-star hotels, and not for high-end tourism." He added that developers will have the right to build a five-star hotel, but the building permit will allow fewer rooms.
Government Tourism Corporation believes that although the project will not be near Jerusalem's city center, this will not be a problem for three reasons: the stunning view of the Old City; Armon Hanatziv is located along the popular Jerusalem-Bethlehem tourist artery; and it is just ten minutes from the Ottoman railway station, Emek Refaim, and other city center attractions.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 30, 2013
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013