The Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee, headed by Planning Administration manager Dalit Zilber, today unanimously approved the planned changes in the Arena Mall in Herzliya to improve access to the sea. As revealed by "Globes," the plan, submitted by the Reality Fund, which owns the mall, was approved last January by the Herzliya Local Planning and Building Commission.
The plan includes opening the currently closed mall to the street. Instead of a building blocking the view and free passage to the sea, wide passageways will be opened for the public and the most of the closed façades will become active commercial facades. The aim is to enhance the city's connection to the sea and make the sea accessible to the public.
In its decision, the Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee said that it favored the plan, which changes the existing situation, because of the mall's location in the coastal environment close to swimming beaches, the Herzliya marina, and the marine education center.
The committee first discussed the plan in September 2018, and today heard alternatives to it. The committee approved the plan, which also includes conversion of existing commercial space into office space relating to tourism, subject to widening the internal passages connecting the beach, the promenade, and the city to give the public better access to the sea from the entire area around the mall. In addition, commercial use will be made of the facades facing the surrounding streets, the sea and the marina, and the internal passageways. 500 square meters of the space in the plan will be allocated to marine education.
The Arena Mall has 45,000 square meters of built-up space, but only 40% of the space is occupied. Existing commercial space in the mall is therefore being converted to office space relating to tourism, a substantial economic advantage for the mall owner.
Zilber said, "The plan significantly improves the public space for the public's benefit. The plan adheres to the principle that the beach belongs to everyone by creating passageways combining commerce and cafes with an open view of the sea."
The Foster & Partners and Shaar Architectural Group firms and architect Irit Kohavi designed the plan.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 1, 2018
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