The Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Commission has approved for validation the new construction plan for the site of the old Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. The purpose of the plan is further urban renewal by rezoning to business, residences, and public space.
The decision means that the objections to the plan have been heard and either accepted or dismissed. In principle, unless the opponents file an appeal, construction can begin now.
The plan for the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station site covers 19.5 acres bordered by Menachem Begin Street on the west, Hagdud Ha'Ivri Street on the south, Hanegev Street on the north, and Salomon Street on the east. The plan provides for construction of 1,333 housing units, including 138 housing units for long-term rental housing. 153,000 square meters of commercial, business, and office space can be built on the site, together with extensive public space. The plan also includes preservation of a structure for a well dating back to the Ottoman period. The Moore Yaski Sivan architectural firm designed the plan.
The plan was validated after the Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Commission heard 17 objections against it. Among the notable objections was one by Tel Aviv City Council member and Neve Sha'anan neighborhood committee chair Shula Keshet. In her objection, Keshet asserted that the plan reflected corporate and private interests, and would not only damage the area, but also the municipal economic corporation. She said that action should be taken to keep the original residents in the area by providing them with affordable housing. Keshet also opposed the Tel Aviv municipality's decision to build a new site for the Batsheva dance company, proposing instead construction of an "Ahuva Ozri Center for Sephardi Culture."
Among the changes accepted as a result of hearing the objections was the division of the site into four sections, so that development could be promoted through separate independent plans. The proposed average housing unit size was set at 69 square meters, and 172 housing units were added to the original plan.
At least 30% of the housing units will be small apartments (less than 70 square meters), and 55% will have 70-108 square meters. A sub-committee also ruled that business space could be converted into affordable housing. In an interesting decision, it was ruled that at least 1,500 square meters of the public space would be shaded.
Shikun u'Binui Holdings Ltd. (TASE: SKBN) and the Meshulam Levinstein Contracting and Engineering Ltd. (TASE: LEVI) bought the site of the old Tel Aviv Central Bus Station for NIS 560 million in July 2015. Shikun & Binui, through its Shikun & Binui Real Estate subsidiary, and Levinstein, through its Levinstein Properties in the Station subsidiary, hold 70% of all of the construction rights in the land in equal shares. A report by Levinstein Group in September 2019 appraised the value of the land at NIS 884 million.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 5, 2020
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