The Jerusalem Post building, one of the last available pieces of real estate in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Romema, will be torn down and the property developed into a 130-unit apartment building, following the agreement reached between the property's owner Eli Azur and developer Ashdar Real Estate.
According to the agreement, signed by Ashdar CEO Shraga Weisman and Azur, the owner of the Palestine Post Group, which owns The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Report and the building where the two are housed, the property, totaling some 7,700 square meters will be given to Ashdar in return for a guarantee of 50 percent of the expected NIS 260 million that is expected to be generated from the sale of the residential units.
Additionally, Ashdar, which is a unit of the real estate group Ashtrom and operates Ashtrom's private housing division, will provide an $11m. loan to the Palestine Post Company as an advance on future profits that are expected to be generated from the project.
The Jerusalem Post Group's editorial offices will be relocated elsewhere in the city. The paper is not expected to move for at least another two years, however, since it will take a considerable time for the various relevant permits for the residential construction to come through, sources close to the deal said on Sunday.
"We are talking about one of the most sought-after areas in the city," said Weisman. "We expect that because of the area's uniqueness, we will quickly sell all of the apartments in the project - both to local haredim and also to foreigners."
For years, Romema, which sits at the northwest entrance to the city and is bordered by the haredi enclaves of Mattersdorf, Kiryat Belz and Mekor Baruch, has been home to light industry, including an assortment of garages, foundries, carpentry workshops and factories. But technological innovation has made the old-fashioned workshops obsolete and industrial growth has seen businesses expand and leave the city for cheaper rent and larger spaces.
Meanwhile, real estate investors, eyeing the area for its development potential, began buying up the abandoned plots at industry-zoned prices, and then waited to cash in on the neighborhood's anticipated re-zoning as a residential area to meet the housing demands created by Jerusalem's burgeoning haredi population.