A laborer works on an apartment building under construction in the Har Homa quarter in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Finance Ministry’s Government Housing Administration on Monday awarded two private firms tenders to build and manage a sprawling 53,000-square-meter office and commercial complex in downtown Jerusalem to house an assortment of government agencies.
The announcement comes three days after Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat condemned plans by the National Authority for Technological Innovation to move out of the capital to Lod, where it has signed a three-year lease.
According to a 2007 cabinet mandate, all national government offices were supposed to be relocated to Jerusalem no later than 2015. Citing a lack of space and resources, several ministries have claimed that the directive is no longer viable.
Danya Cebus Ltd. and Africa- Israel Ltd. successfully bid to construct and manage the expansive government complex, which will feature two 24-story buildings, and take nearly four years to complete.
After it is built, Africa-Israel Ltd. will manage the site for 22 years, the ministry said.
The two companies outbid several formidable competitors, including Shikun & Binui Holdings Ltd., which teamed with a consortium of other prominent firms.
The complex will be built on a 1-hectare plot (2.5 acres) between Shazar, Jaffa and Nordau streets. In addition to 416 parking spaces in five underground levels, and 27,000-sq.m. of storage areas, a commercial floor and three other floors for public reception will be built.
The government ministries expected to move into the new complex include: Construction and Housing, Immigrant Absorption, Justice, Interior, Environmental Protection, Health, Economy, Employment Services, Education, the Israel Land Authority, as well as several others.
The project was designed by Kolker Kolker Epstein Architects, which has designed government buildings in Jerusalem in the past, such as the structure housing the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Jerusalem Municipality building, Habira Towers, and the State Comptroller building.
Danya Cebus Ltd. and Africa- Israel Ltd. have worked together on several high-profile projects in the past, including the renovation of the Bank of Israel. They were also awarded jointly the Justice Ministry’s construction tender several months ago.
Globes contributed to this report.