The Prima hotel chain is buying the Jacob Samuel boutique hotel on the corner of Arlosoroff Street and Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv for NIS 45 million. The six-storey hotel covers 1,200 square meters and has 22 rooms, including penthouses. Architect Sammy Tito, for whom the hotel is named, owned more than 50% of it. Other owners included the heirs of late businessperson Jacob Alaluf and another partner. It appears that the exit was a quick one for the sellers, because the hotel opened only last May on the ruins of the legendary Batya Café. The ground floor of the hotel currently contains the Popular Café restaurant run by Chef Avi Biton. Sources inform "Globes" that the restaurant will continue to rent the property from Prima, which operates chef restaurants in its three of its other hotels in Tel Aviv.
Other Prima hotels in Tel Aviv include the Prima Hotel on Hayarkon Street, with 63 rooms; the Prima City Hotel on Mapu Street, with 103 rooms; and the Hotel 75 hotel on Allenby Street, built on the ruins of a Clalit Health Services clinic after the property was purchased from Clalit. When the deal is completed, Prima will have 15 hotels in Israel. Prima is a private hotel chain founded in the 1990s and owned by the Moskowitz family from New York.
"This is a project that originated with an idea shared by three friends. We took the building initially in order to construct a residential building," Tito told "Globes." "We realized that we had an excellent location, and that demand for boutique hotels in Tel Aviv was growing. In contrast to other hotels that I design, the process here was different, because here I was both the designed and the developer. I designed hotels in Israel and abroad. Being the developer also is different, because I carefully considered every decision. I gave more freedom to design thoughts here. We didn't save on expenses, and we created a building that brings classical Europe to Tel Aviv. We entertained ourselves with thoughts of running it ourselves, but after Jacob, who was supposed to manage the hotel, passed away, Maya, my daughter, took responsibility for it, until Prima entered the picture. It was an interesting adventure, and we have mixed feelings about giving our baby away."
Prima CEO Avi Dor said, "In contrast to other vacation centers, such as Eilat and the Dead Sea, Tel Aviv attracts more foreign tourists than Israeli vacationers. The number of tourist overnights in Tel Aviv has grown in recent years, and Prima is accordingly emphasizing the expansion of operations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the two strongest anchors in incoming tourism. We have no doubt that they will continue to lead in tourism." Dor added that Prima's expansion plan in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv also included the construction of new hotels in the near future.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 24, 2019
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