The well-known abandoned building next to Road 395 in the Jerusalem Hills, near the entrance to Givat Ye'arim stands to get a new life. Israeli hotel chain Fattal Holdings 1998 Ltd. (TASE: FTAL) will rent the building for 25 years and build a spa hotel on it, sources inform "Globes."
The building was zoned for a hotel years ago. A report commissioned by the Ministry of Finance budget department, which "Globes" published in late 2018, describes it as one of the leading white elephants among dozens of abandoned buildings on private land all over Israel. Construction of the hotel was initiated by the Ben Haim Jerusalem family, which also owns the Tirat Bat Sheva Hotel on King George Street in Jerusalem. The cornerstone for the hotel, then called Gan Haim Hotel, was laid in 1985, but construction was never completed, after the developers encountered financial trouble.
A decade later, the unfinished shell was purchased by a group of investors from Switzerland, which sought to build a luxury spa hotel and assisted living facilities on the site. The first intifada then set off a severe crisis in tourism and the hotel industry, however, and the project was shelved.
The Bonei Hatichon group acquired the building in 2005, but did not promote a plan for the site, and sold the building two years later to Jerusalem contractor Moti Levy in 2017. In 2017, Levy stated that he was planning to build two hotels on the site overlooking the beautiful view there. Now, after the building has been unoccupied for decades, some use will finally be made of it. Levy will retain the land, and Fattal will rent it under a 25-year lease at NIS 7 million a year. As far as is known, Levy will invest NIS 100 million in renovations and construction of the hotels.
There are several hotels aimed at the luxury and spa niche in the Jerusalem hills that will compete with Fattal, among them Isrotel's 155-room Cramim Hotel in Kiryat Anavim and the Gordinia boutique hotel in Ma'ale HaHamisha.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 29, 2019
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