Jerusalem is on track for a much-anticipated new residential center and business district at the western entrance to the city, after the Israel Land Authority finally awarded tenders to a consortium of Israeli companies set to build part of what is known as the Jerusalem Gateway project.
The consortium, made up of real estate company JTLV Investments and construction companies BSR Engineering And Development and Yehuda Rahamim Building Co, won NIS 120 million ($35 million) in bids to build two 40-story towers and one eight-story building on three plots covering around 219 dunams (54 acres) at the key city entrance from the west which is currently dominated by the Chords Bridge. The announcement was made on Wednesday by the Israel Land Authority.
The larger Jerusalem Gateway project will spread out over an area of approximately 700 dunams (700,000 square meters or 173 acres), starting from the Chords Bridge that greets visitors at the entrance to the city and leading to a renovated Binyanei Ha’uma – International Convention Center and on to Ben Zvi Boulevard.
The whole area will see the construction of a total of around 20 towers of between 18 and 40 stories on some 1.2 million square meters (12.9 million square feet) of built space. This includes almost 100,000 square meters (1,076,391 square feet) for residential apartments, another 100,000 square meters for rental units and sheltered housing, commercial offices and spaces, and hotels. The district is expected to add some 60,000 new jobs in the capital.
The area will benefit from extensive public transportation links, including the high-speed train station, the central bus station, three light rail lines, bike paths and an underground public parking lot with 1,300 parking spaces.
The International Convention Center in Jerusalem will benefit from a major upgrade and “become the largest conference center in the Middle East,” the Israel Land Authority said. Local government offices together, the courthouses currently scattered across the city, and the state attorney’s office will all relocate to the new area, according to the announcement.
Public space will be designed by Berlin architects Topotek 1, winners of an international bid for the job.
For the first time in Israel, plans for the district have been recognized as meeting international green construction standards. The transformation of the area is proceeding in stages, but building permits to start work on some of the towers are expected to be issued in the coming weeks.
The Jerusalem Gateway project was launched in late 2016 with a cornerstone-laying ceremony led by then-mayor Nir Barkat. In total, the project is valued at $364 million (NIS 1.2 billion).