The National Infrastructure Committee has approved an urban renewal plan in Rehovot that will be the largest such "demolish and rebuild' plan in Israel. 1,400 existing homes will be pulled down and replaced by 10,000 housing units.
The plan, which has been promoted for several years by the Urban Renewal Authority and the Rehovot Municipality, covers 1,500 dunam (375 acres) in southern Rehovot. The Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Rehovot is well known as a disadvantaged suburb afflicted by violence and crime. The neighborhood, which was built in the 1950s and 1960s, consists of three and four-floor apartment buildings on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Over 55% of the neighborhood's residents are immigrants from Ethiopia and their descendants, many of whom receive welfare assistance.
4,000 of the apartments in the project are in this neighborhood, while 6,000 are on land allotted to the project by the Israel Land Administration. The new apartments will be in buildings with 7-20 floors.
2,000 of the apartments will be small ones, and 300 will be reserved for students. The plan also includes 470,000 square meters in commercial and office space, 120 dunam (30 acres) of open space, and 350,000 square meters of space for public buildings and institutions. The plan provides for construction of an interchange over Road 410 and Road 411 and a 14-dunam (3.5-acre) public transportation terminal.
Rehovot Mayor Rachamim Malul told "Globes" today that the decision was of "national importance," adding, "This plan has social value, because most of the people in it are immigrants from Ethiopia. We're reconstructing all of the apartments here. Residents of the neighborhood will finally be able to live in large new apartments with elevators, lobbies, and security rooms."
"Globes": There has been criticism before that the public was not consulted about this project. Can you comment about that?
Malul: "That's not true. Authorized representatives and authorized community representatives participated in the steering committee. Furthermore, we set up an administration responsible for relations with the residents. There is also a neighborhood steering committee."
When will this plan get going?
"We won't approval any construction before a roof agreement is signed with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Construction and Housing. I'm going to add 10,000 more housing units there - 30,000 residents. Upgrading of infrastructure, educational institutions, community clubs, community centers, and other things is needed. We won't allow construction to start without a roof agreement."
The plan was drawn up by the Barre Levie Dayan architectural firm.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 23, 2019
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019