Herzliya's Hof Hatchelet (Blue Coast) project in the southwest of the city is moving ahead. The Planning Administration recently published documents showing that the area's 500 acres will be divided into seven blocks and will include 11,500 new homes, hotels in the area closest to the seafront and a large coastal park near the sea. However, landowners are likely to object to the low-density building plan in southwest Herzliya, the largest unbuilt piece of coastal land in central Israel.
The land is bordered by the Herzliya Pituach office park to the north and Tel Aviv to the south, the coastal highway (Road 2) to the east and the sea to the west. Back in 2007, Herzliya Municipality headed by then Mayor Yael German received the green light from the Ministry of Interior to start planning the area.
The land is owned by many private individuals who have been frustrated by the protracted and repeated discussions in the Herzliya Planning and Building Committee headed by the current Mayor Moshe Fadlon. But now detailed documents have finally been published.
Two of the seven blocks in the furthest west of the land will include a coastal park, hotels and thousands of apartments. The central blocks will be mainly for residential housing while the eastern blocks will include office developments. One of the Tel Aviv light rail lines will pass through the area and there will be a bus station, major highway interchange, which will improve access to the Herzliya marina.
Architect Danny Kaiser who formerly served as Tel Aviv's city engineer and has designed the plan said, "The plan includes an urban neighborhood with a main street on which the light rail green line will run and continue southwards to Ibn Gbriol Street in Tel Aviv. There will also be a very large limestone cliff park on the seafront.
Sources told "Globes" that surprisingly the plan includes lower density housing than required and will be less dense in construction than the neighborhoods build on the former Sde Dov airport and the neighborhood planned immediately south of the Hatchelet project. There will be six housing units per 1,000 square meters, which is considered low. 70% of the land is designated for parklands.
Kaiser says that the plan will be discussed for deposit by the Tel Aviv District Committee in November, or December at the latest.
Land worth about NIS 24.4 billion
The significance of the land and the depositing of the plans is that this is the largest piece of unbuilt land along the coast in central Israel, making it real estate with massive potential.
In recent years the land has been the subject of speculative deals. Real estate appraiser Yisrael Yaakov says that 100 square meter parcels of land have been changing hands for NIS 600,000 and more. The more expensive lots are in the north of the area while the land in the east, which is designated for office developments, is cheaper. Yaakov estimates that are objections have been overcome and building permits have been issued the value of the land could be worth NIS 24.4 billion. At present its value is half that, he believes. These estimates are conservative and some think the land is worth a lot more.
Adv. Joseph Mosseri, who together with his partner Adv. Moran Haviv, represents 1,000 landowners, expects a wave of objections to the plan. He said, "The plan for the vacated Sde Dov airport and the promotion of building there makes the Hof Hatchelet plan irrelevant. We are talking about low density which is not suitable for a contemporary plan especially after the height restrictions at Sde Dov have been canceled.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 3, 2019
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