Holyland still on hold 521.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Jerusalem Regional Planning and Building Commission has approved a new plan
for the Holyland residential project in the city’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood that
reduces its building rights.
The building rights to the project’s western
side were canceled in favor of developing public spaces and public
buildings. The commission approved the construction of three 18-story
high-rise buildings on the site’s northern section.
The Holyland project
is at the center of one of Israel’s worst corruption scandals. Former prime
minister Ehud Olmert, former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski and other former
government and municipal officials were indicted in the case earlier this
Eight of the 16 buildings approved for the project have been
built, while construction of the remaining buildings has not yet begun, and now
they will not be built.
The original plan, which was approved in 1990,
called for the construction of 16 high-rises, two of which would have 33 floors
each, on the site of the Eretz Hatzvi Hotel, also known as the Holyland Hotel,
which was built in the 1960s.
Holyland investor Polar Investments Ltd.,
controlled by US developer Ziel Feldman, on Tuesday notified the TASE that eight
of the originally planned building in the Holyland project would not be built,
following the commission’s decision.