Greater Tel Aviv in 2040

Construction in Tel Aviv credit: Avi Rozen Shutterstock
Construction in Tel Aviv credit: Avi Rozen Shutterstock

Tel Aviv District Planning & Building Committee chair Eran Nitzan discusses the region's biggest high-rise projects, stressing they are dependent on building the Metro.

"From our point of view the Red Line (of the Tel Aviv light rail) is already operating," says Eran Nitzan chairman of the Tel Aviv District Planning & Building Committee, even though passenger can't yet board the trains. So far as he is concerned the Green and Purple Lines, which are currently under construction and not due for completion until 2027, are from the planning point of view also history. He explains, the statutory procedures on the projects have already been completed and he and his colleagues are dealing with future plans like the Metro underground railway system for the Tel Aviv Metropolitan region.

The transport hubs will dictate construction"

"The Metro is a matter of 15-20 years, it is clear to us. But this train has left the station and it would be a great disaster if someone God forbid tries to bring it back. This matter has already happened," says Nitzan, perhaps taking into account that views are being aired proposing the possibility that the project will be shelved or postponed. After most of the route of the metro lines have been approved, Nitzan alongside many other people is currently working on TAMA 70, which deals with future construction around the planned 109 metro stations.

"The idea is to create massive areas for residential construction around the stations, which also includes commerce," he says. The residential planning will include a mix of small and medium-sized apartments. "We will also strengthen the apartments for rent within this plan," he says and stresses that areas surrounding the stations will also receive careful treatment.

He emphasizes, "TAMA 70 has quite a few spatial guidelines that set how the station will look when you exit it. There is a whole world of environmental appearance to encourage entering and exiting the station."

Bottom line. In 2040 we will be traveling on the Metro in Gush Dan?

"The truth is I just don't know."

What are your assumptions for 2040?

"There are two basic assumptions that dictate our decisions. One is known to many and it is that the number of people - we will reach 15 to 20 million inhabitants in the country, and the majority of the population will be concentrated between Hadera and Gedera. The second basic assumption, and the great game changer, is the mass transportation system. The way in which it will be built, the year when it will be operated, will dictate the development of the buildings along its route and in the large transportation complexes. The massive construction will be in the Givatayim and Ramat Gan area. On Givat Rambam in Givatayim, for example, 45-50-floor towers will be built."

Alongside Derekh Hashalom?

"Yes. We also have huge areas of this type in Ramat Gan, along Jabotinsky Street, and also at the junctions on Ben-Gurion Street. In all these places there are super intensive plans. We won't be able to put up 40 or 50-floor towers in these areas, if there won't be trains running near them."

In the context of such high residential buildings, Nitzan reveals that there are doubts concerning the maintenance of the towers in the future. "There is a serious concern in the district committee, which is also shared by the mayors. When you build a residential tower with so many floors, it is built with super sophisticated systems that are expensive to maintain. When it is an office tower and there is an owner of this tower who has an interest, it is relatively simple. What happens when a tower is inhabited by 500 families who own the apartments? How do they manage the tower together? We are also haunted by traumas and mistakes made in the past. The whole story of the Tel Aviv central bus station with a complex ownership structure has created chaos. This is a dilemma we have to deal with," he says.

Nitzan says that it is possible that in such plans in the future, it will be mandatory to establish a maintenance fund, but a final decision has not yet been made on the matter.

The tallest buildings in the metropolitan region will apparently be concentrated in the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange district. The the 120th tower in the Ramat Gan stock exchange, and a tower between cities that will rise to a height of 100 stories. The 120-floor Bursa Towers in Ramat Gan and 100-floor Between the Cities (Tel Aviv-Givatayim-Ramat Gan) project are already under construction.

"The real estate event is Kidmat Hasharon - IMI"

As someone who sits at the helm of the biggest plans in the region, we asked Nitzan to highlight the plans or areas where we will see the most cranes in the coming years as part of the development of urban renewal projects. He mentioned three. "The big real estate event of the coming decades is called Kidmat Hasharon."

"These are 7,000 dunams (1,750 acres) that are being freed up with complex land purification challenges that we are earmarking for the construction of 35-40,000 housing units. A city in itself, which may ultimately end up being a separate city," he says. The area belongs to several municipalities in the Sharon region. "Another area where we are expected to see massive construction, he said, is to the west of there. The entire Glilot area is being vacated and we are now preparing the policy documents to strengthen it. The area is going to be served in the most intensive way by the movement of trains - light, heavy and metro. The whole area will be built high. We are now seeing the first buds: those who pass by the BIG shopping complex can already see buildings rising up high and this is how this area is expected to look.

"There are also huge projects that have been progressing for decades and are reaching maturity: the Blue Beach in Herzliya, Plan 3700 (northwest Tel Aviv) and of course Sde Dov in Tel Aviv. These are three huge projects, each with tens of thousands of housing units, and the coastline is going to look completely different."

The third area is along the Ayalon. According to Nitzan, "What we see today between Arlozorov and Hashalom will eventually expand north to Glilot in Herzliya and the Ramat Hasharon area, and south to the Wolfson area, Holon and Rishon Lezion. This route (Ayalon) will be surrounded by office and residential towers."

We asked Nitzan about the idea of artificial islands off the coast, which has been raised several times in the past. Is this still a possibility? Nitzan does not rule out such a scenario, but does not sound enthusiastic. He explains, "Artificial infrastructure islands always comes up as a response to great frustration. It's very difficult to develop infrastructure, mainly because of NIMBY," he explains and adds, "I'm not sure that's the right thing. I think we have the sea left as our last resort."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on July 2, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Construction in Tel Aviv credit: Avi Rozen Shutterstock
Construction in Tel Aviv credit: Avi Rozen Shutterstock
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