Rain in Jerusalem, March 9, 2014..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
As part of an ongoing and comprehensive urban renewal project, the Jerusalem Municipality announced Monday that tenders for the construction of 400 discount student dormitories, as well as for a cafe in the capital’s Independence Park, were approved on Thursday.
According to Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkowitz (Jerusalem Awakening), who spearheaded the initiative, the decision was the result of several years of collaboration with Deputy Mayor Kobi Kahlon to attract increasingly elusive young residents.
To that end, Berkowitz said the rent for the new dorms will be NIS 1,200 per month, far less expensive than most comparable housing in the area.
He added that the development of the dormitory and cafe will upgrade the public space and make Jerusalem more attractive to students.
“This meaningful expansion project will further strengthen the city center and the small business sector,” he said. “It also sends a strong message against the housing shortage in the city, by providing students with affordable rents.”
With respect to the approved tender to build a cafe in Independence Park, Berkowitz lauded the decision as a “significant step to meet the needs of residents,” while also making the city more “dynamic.”
“Jerusalem’s center is the heart of the city, and our job is to continue the process of upgrading and establishing it as a vibrant and dynamic urban area,” he said. “We will continue to work to strengthen the city center and transform Jerusalem into a place that is attractive to young people.”
Moreover, Berkowitz emphasized that the development plans are part of an ambitious and comprehensive strategy to make Jerusalem a cultural beacon.
“We have a whole vision to make downtown Jerusalem as creative and vibrant as possible – from the arts to small business, there is a lot we hope to accomplish,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”