Elad claims Tel Aviv municipality stalling Bavli tower

Tshuva's first tower Photo: Yonatan Meni

Municipality: The developer has not finished vacating public space.

Elad Israel Residence, controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, filed a petition at the Administrative Court against the Tel Aviv municipality, asserting that the municipality was refusing to issue a building permit to the company for construction of the second tower in the Bavli project in Tel Aviv. The company alleges that the delay is causing it damage amounting to tens of millions of shekels.

The lawsuit, which also includes a request for an urgent hearing, was filed through Adv. Ofer Tzur, Adv. Itzchak Lazar, and Adv. Alex Feldsher from the Gornitzky & Co. law firm against the Tel Aviv municipality and property department manager Eli Levi. Elad Israel Residence and its partner, AMTS, are asking the court to order the Tel Aviv municipality to issue a building permit for the second tower next to the first tower, which was recently occupied.

Givat Amal became Bavli Dekel

"The situation is kafkaesque," the companies assert. "A lot in the middle of the Bavli neighborhood stands empty and ready for residential construction. All of the planning and building procedures for obtaining a building permit have been completed, and the municipality is preventing the exercise of the rights in it and construction of the tower, although it approved the request for a building permit."

The reason for the municipality's refusal to issue the building permit is the Bavli Dekel plan, which includes construction of residential towers in the Bavli neighborhood, formerly Givat Amal. Elad Residence and A.M.T.S. are among those holding the land, and have already built and occupied the first tower. The plan includes a condition for removing the holders of the land and demolishing the existing buildings before construction of the towers.

At the same time, the companies signed an agreement with the municipality in July 2013 arranging the building permits in the plan and the stages in removing the holders of the land. The company has therefore been in eviction proceedings against the holders of the land for years, and some of the families were removed and paid compensation.

The lawsuit by Elad Residence and AMTS asserts that there is not a single holder on the lot for the tower, and that the plan does not require removal of the holders in order to obtain the permit for the first two towers. The petition states that after the first tower was constructed in November 2016, a digging and revetment permit was issued for the lot on which the second tower is to be built, and that digging and revetment were completed.

The companies allege that the agreement with the municipality requires completion of "most of the removals" as a condition for obtaining a permit for the second tower, while the companies have completed more than this and have fulfilled all of the conditions for obtaining the permit. The municipality says that the companies did not complete the removals, and that the building permit for the second tower should therefore not be issued.

The companies allege that instead of cooperating, as the municipality undertook, its representatives are preventing completing of the process, and refrained from paying the municipality's share of the removal expenses, which have ballooned to huge amounts.

Another claim raised by the companies in the lawsuit is that the municipality demanded that they remove families occupying public land, which contravenes the 2011 "luxury apartments" ruling by the Supreme Court. In this ruling, the Court forbade the local authorities to impose their public tasks on developers.

The municipality said in response, "The developers have not yet completed vacating the public space in order to progress to the next stage. The duty to vacate the public space is an essential condition in the agreement and in the urban building plan. As for the payment issue, the municipality is regularly paying its share. The other allegations will be answered in court."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 15, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

Tshuva's first tower Photo: Yonatan Meni
Tshuva's first tower Photo: Yonatan Meni
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