Developers win Kikar Atarim high-rise battle

Kikar Atarim Photo: Eyal Yitzhar

The Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee has approved two 40-floor towers for the site.

The Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee, headed by Planning Administration manager Dalit Zilber, today discussed the Kikar Atarim plan. The discussion followed a petition submitted by the No to Towers in Kikar Atarim organization, which asserted that the plan for construction of 40-floor towers including residences and hotels violated the Tel Aviv 5000 outline plan and was not brought to the Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee for approval. The organization alleged that the Tel Aviv outline plan allowed only 25-storey towers zoned exclusively for hotels. The petition was granted in April 2018 and the court ordered the plan brought before the Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee.

The Committee today heard the position of the Tel Aviv municipality, the District Planning and Building Commission, the developers, and representatives of the No to Towers organization. The Committee issued an interim decision on the planning principles for the Kikar Atarim site and ruled that the matter would be scheduled for discussion and a final decision, while the developers would later file a detailed plan. The principles accepted in the interim decision took into account a 10-dunam (2.5-acre) site and the importance of public space and the connection between the city and the sea.

The principles approved by the Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee include 40-floor towers with both residences and hotels, but the amount of residential construction will be reduced; while the developers sought 50% residences, the Committee approved only 30%. The principles include two 40-floor towers, not three or four lower buildings; 70% hotels; and 30% residences. There will be a wide space between the towers in order to provide an open view of the sea from Ben Gurion Street. Hayarkon Street will no longer be lower and noisy, as it is now; it will be raised above ground level and will become an urban street facilitating pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

The development company said, "JTLV respects the Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee's decision ratifying multiple uses and the volume of construction established by the Tel Aviv municipality. We are studying the meaning of the decision with respect to the proposed mix. There is no doubt that the decision by the Committee, the senior authority in these matters, gives additional validity to the expected contribution of the project's implementation to the coastal environment and the connection it will create between the city and the sea."

The No to Towers in Kikar Atarim organization said, "Unfortunately, the Protection of the Coastal Environment Committee failed in its duty and betrayed the public's trust by approval a violation of the law banning residential construction west of Hayarkon Street. The municipality has neglected Kikar Atarim in recent years for hidden reasons and has promoted this megalomaniacal plan in the dark - a plan with a single aim: stealing the sea from the public for the sake of the tycoons - while violating proper procedure and taking shortcuts. We expected the Committee to perform its duty and put the residents' interests above those of the wealthy.

"The 'No to Towers in Kikar Atarim' organization is a group of residents organized for a single purpose - preventing the construction of the megalomaniacal plan by the Tel Aviv municipality and the JTLV development company to construct towers on the Tel Aviv beachfront, which will cause irreversible damage to the quality of life of all of us and to the character of the city of Tel Aviv, while aiding the interests of only the wealthy. The only thing we are fighting for is saving the Tel Aviv beachfront. We will therefore continue and step up our efforts with all the means at our disposal, including an appeal against this decision. We call on every resident for whom the Tel Aviv beach is important to join our important and just struggle."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 28, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

Kikar Atarim Photo: Eyal Yitzhar
Kikar Atarim Photo: Eyal Yitzhar
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