The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Development Authority will publish in the coming days a tender for building and operating an industrial park on the Givat Ram campus. The park, to be called Hujitech, will contain 150,000 square meters zoned for high tech on 30 dunam (7.5 acres) owned by the university (80%) and the Jerusalem Development Authority (20%). The high-tech park will be the first in Israel on a university campus.
Campus to be built in two stages
According to the urban building plan approved 20 years ago, 65,000 square meters zoned for high tech can be built. The first stage of construction will focus on part of the area. The developer who wins the tender will promote an urban building plan for the other 85,000 square meters, and will construct the second stage after it is approved. The additional rights to be promoted are consistent with District Planning and Building Commission's policy of increasing density and encouraging office space near the light rail routes. A railway station is planned near the campus. The approved plan provides for construction of parking lots. It is believed that the park will be occupied by 2023.
The winning developer in the tender for building the park will contract a combination deal with Hebrew University and the Jerusalem Development Authority. The developer will build the project, market the space for rent, and manage it for 49 years, with an option for 49 more years. Large income-producing real estate companies will compete in the tender by offering combination percentages and the amount of space that the university will receive, versus the amount of space that the tender winner can market.
Threshold conditions oriented to large companies
Hebrew University VP and director general Yishai Fraenkel said that the threshold conditions set in the tender for companies eligible to participate were owning a minimum of 150,000 square meters of office space in Israel, having minimum shareholders' equity of NIS 1.2 billion, and an average annual revenue turnover from real estate activity of at least NIS 200 million in 2015-2017.
Fraenkel explained, "The project will facilitate a direct physical connection between higher education institutions and the high-tech and biotechnology industry, something that does not currently exist in Israel, but which is prominent worldwide. The park will have development centers, offices, and laboratories on the Givat Ram campus, with over 5,000 employees working there. We believe that Hujitech will generate more companies like Mobileye."
Eyal Haimovsky, CEO of the Jerusalem Development Authority, a partner in the project, said, "Promoting excellent business projects in Jerusalem is one of the main goals of the Jerusalem Development Authority and the government in the coming years. High-tech companies operating in the capital will benefit from incentives amounting to hundreds of millions of shekels."
50 companies currently operate on Givat Ram, including international companies in high tech, cyber, biotechnology, nanotechnology, medicine and pharma with an aggregate total of 1,000 employees. These companies rent space limited space in low buildings from the university, and have difficult expanding on the university campus. After the new park is finished, these companies are likely to move to the new buildings.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 17, 2019
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