SHIKUN & BINUI REAL ESTATE.
(photo credit: SHIKUN & BINUI REAL ESTATE)
In a city where sprawling luxury apartment buildings continue to drive out
affordable housing, 80 apartments in a new building project in the southwest
corner of Jerusalem are boasting an extra special feature: NIS 200,000
RELATED:New legislation to give national priority to Jerusalem
A special initiative by Ruah Hadasha (“New Spirit”)
and Hitorerut Yerushalayim (“Awakening Jerusalem”) successfully won a bid last
week from the Israel Land Authority to build a new apartment building on Costa
Rica Street in the Ir Ganim section of the city, near Kiryat Hayovel.
apartments will be sold to young, secular Israelis looking to build a vibrant
Even before the groups won the bid, 45 apartments had been
sold. The group expects to sell the remaining 35 apartments in the next two
“These apartments are for populations we want to stay here, like
young workers, open-minded people, groups that are really important to the city,”
said Meirav Cohen, from Hitorerut.
She noted that the lack of affordable
housing pushes these groups out of the city, and the city loses a valuable,
The four- and five-room apartments will cost between
NIS 1.2 million and 1.75m., depending on the size and floor. The apartments are
around NIS 200,000 cheaper than a similar building project in the area, which is
selling 4- room apartments for NIS 1.4 million and upwards. Construction is
expected to start within three to six months, after the group receives a
building permit from the municipality.
Part of the reason that the
apartments can be sold below market price and still turn a modest profit is that
the groups took care of finding residents, meaning the contractors will not
spend any money on marketing.
Also, having such a large number of the
apartments sold before the bid was awarded meant that the contracting company,
Tolus, Ltd., did not have to secure funding from other sources.
area, Costa Rica street in Ir Ganin, is an area that’s going to go through a
huge renewal process in the next few years,” said Cohen. “There are already a
lot of young communities in the area, many roads are planned, there are a ton of
parks, even the zoo is nearby and is going to expand. There’s going to be a lot
of improvement in the infrastructure that makes the area really
Ruah Hadasha director Elisheva Mazia said that the building
is a reaction to increasing haredi encroachment on traditionally secular
neighborhoods like Kiryat Hayovel.
“We’re not embarrassed to say that the
goal of this project was so other populations won’t enter into this area,” she
“It’s important for us that some areas stay secular.”
Hadasha was founded in 2003 by Hebrew University students and businesspeople to
promote a vibrant, young, non-religious community in the capital. Jerusalem
Mayor Nir Barkat served on its board before becoming mayor.
started in 2008 to stem the tide of people leaving the city.
organizations spent months meeting with contractors and real estate agents to
find the perfect site, and rejected many projects because they would not have
been be able to offer a steep enough discount to residents.
their eye on a few more parcels of land the Israel Land Authority is releasing,
hoping to replicate the pilot project in other city neighborhoods.