Moving to Jerusalem: US ambassador’s home up for sale for record $87 million

If Embassy gets its asking price, the beachfront property in Herzliya that David Friedman no longer uses will be Israel’s most expensive property

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro hosts an Iftar dinner at his residence in Herzliya on June 14, 2016 (photo credit: CC BY 2.0 US Embassy/Flickr)
US Ambassador Dan Shapiro hosts an Iftar dinner at his residence in Herzliya on June 14, 2016 (photo credit: CC BY 2.0 US Embassy/Flickr)

After moving to Jerusalem, the US Embassy in Israel has put the ambassador’s official residence in Herzliya up for sale and stands to sell it for a record-breaking price.

The asking price for the home, just north of Tel Aviv, which has a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, is 300 million shekels, or $87 million, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

If the embassy gets its asking price, it would exceed the record set in January when Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich bought an estate in central Israel for a record $64.5 million.

The 11,000-square-foot villa, with a pool and a hot tub, built in the 1960s likely would be demolished and a new home built on the desirable property, according to the report. The United States was given the property by Israel in 1962.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, second left, stands next to his wife Tammy, left, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second from right, and his wife Sara during a Fourth of July Independence Day celebration at the Ambassador’s residence in Herzilya Pituah on July 3, 2017. (AFP / Heidi Levine)

The price reflects its location on Galei Tchelet Street, considered Israel’s most expensive with its views of the Mediterranean. It is the home of several ambassadors and billionaires.

At 1.2 acres, it is also an unusually large property for the street,  and is grandfathered into zoning restrictions that have since prevented landowners from assembling such large lots, Eytan Blumberg, a broker at Anglo-Saxon Real Estate, told the New York Times.

US Independence Day party at the American ambassador’s residence in Herzliya in 2012 (photo credit: CC BY SA US Embassy/Flickr)

According to Globes, the embassy said the decision to sell the property is part of the transfer of the US Embassy, and most of its activities, to Jerusalem.

The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, helped oversee US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there from its previous location in Tel Aviv in May 2018.

Friedman currently lives in the former residence of the Jerusalem Consulate, which was merged into the Embassy.

However, former US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro told the New York Times that the Jerusalem Embassy residence did not meet current State Department standards and the embassy would probably need to build a new residence in Jerusalem.

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