Jerusalem municipality inks deal to build 20,000 apartments

NIS 1.4 billion project envisions construction across the city, including new industrial and trade zones, hotel space

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: A housing construction site in Jerusalem, October 27, 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative: A housing construction site in Jerusalem, October 27, 2013. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Jerusalem municipality announced Wednesday it has reached an agreement with the Israel Lands Authority to build more than 20,000 new apartments in the capital, along with industrial areas and hotels.

The plan envisions 12,600 new living units and an additional 8,000 units which will be built as part of urban renewal initiatives in existing structures.

Some NIS 1.4 billion ($380 million) is to be invested in infrastructure, public spaces, public buildings and other projects. The Israel Lands Administration will invest NIS 600 million ($162 million) and a further NIS 800 million ($217 million) will be raised from fees and levies in the sale of the apartments, the agreement stipulates.

“This is an historic day for construction in Jerusalem and an important day for its future,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement.

The work will be focused in areas at the entrance to the city, along Begin Boulevard, Givat Ram, Malha, Kiryat HaYovel and Har Hotzvim in the western part of the city. It will also see projects in the Jewish neighborhoods of Pisgat Zeev and French Hill which are seen by the international community as East Jerusalem, along with the Atarot industrial zone which lies just to the north of Jerusalem in the West Bank.

Industrial and trade parks along with new hotels in the capital will cover a combined area of some 3 million square meters. Around 2,500 apartments will be constructed as part of the White Ridge project, a plan to build into the countryside west of the city.

The city council is scheduled to approve the plan next week.

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