Despite public criticism of the NIS 320 million renovation of Tel Aviv's City Hall building, the city is continuing to pour taxpayers' money into the project, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Tel Aviv. In their latest move, city officials have signed a contract to rent substitute offices in an upmarket building for the next five years for a total of $1.2 million.
According to the report, city officials realized that municipal employees would need to be moved out of the City Hall building progressively as renovations are done on each floor, and that they can be moved back in when work in each area is complete. With the entire renovation project expected to take five years, they decided to rent 1400 square meters of office space in the luxurious Hayovel office building for the next five years.The report said that at $20,000 rent per month, the total cost will amount to $1.2 million over five years.
The city's renovation project manager, Dror Lotan, said that renting the extra office space for the displaced employees was "vital and necessary," although no answer was reported as to why the Hayovel building was chosen as a substitute. He said the first step of the renovation project would be to add two stories to the current 12-story City Hall building, forcing the 12th-floor employees to move elsewhere. Because that floor houses the city manager and other senior officials who need to remain in the building, they will move down to the 10th floor, and the 10th-floor employees will be the first to move out to the substitute offices.
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