Interior Ministry approves 12 skyscrapers for J'lem
Capital city says that the major construction project could provide 40,000 jobs.
Plans for Jerusalem skyscrapers. Photo: Jerusalem Municipality
The Interior Ministry gave its initial stamp of approval to a major construction
plan for the entrance to the city that will completely change the capital’s
skyline with the addition of 12 skyscrapers.
The project includes a
number of 33-story and 24- story buildings that will be a mix of government
offices, private businesses, and residential apartments.
tower will be a 2,000-room hotel. The Foreign Ministry and other government
offices will occupy two 24-story towers, and at least one 24-story tower will be
The municipality’s Local Building and Planning Committee
approved the project last week. The public now has 60 days to file objections to
the project before it will be reexamined by the Interior Ministry’s District
Committee for final approval.
The renewal project is meant to
reinvigorate Jerusalem’s struggling economy by attracting dozens of companies to
The municipality estimates that the 1 million square meters
of office space will provide approximately 40,000 office jobs.
entrance is set to be a major transportation hub once the high-speed train from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is finished; this is scheduled for 2017. The light rail
and the central bus station are also located in the same area.
Boulevard, which runs parallel to Jaffa Road, will be converted to a twolevel
roadway, with vehicle lanes and 1,300 parking spots on the lower level and
pedestrian walkways and a second light-rail line on the upper level.
Local Committee approved the project with only one abstention. Opposition head
Pepe Alalu (Meretz) said that while he generally supports the project, he is
concerned that there is not enough housing and that the buildings are too
“It could be that we’re succeeding with employment and housing, but
we’re destroying the nature of Jerusalem,” he said.
Alalu said he was
worried that the “block of concrete” that people see as they enter the city
would be an inappropriate introduction to the capital, which has maintained the
style of low, stone buildings that follow the contour of the hills.
there are projects like this, especially like Holyland, people are afraid to say
no,” Alalu said on Monday.
“They think, ‘What, like we’d be against
development of Jerusalem?’ So they’re quiet. But there are ways we can be more
Despite Alalu’s opposition last week, the project moved on
to the District Committee on Monday. If the project receives final approval from
the Interior Ministry after the 60-day waiting period, construction could begin
within a year.
The project was designed by Fahri Zafrir Architects,
responsible for public complexes in Tel Aviv, Eilat, Bat Yam, and the Ramat
Rahel enclave within south Jerusalem.