Azrieli Sarona 370.
(photo credit: Azrieli Group)
Azrieli Group controlling shareholder David Azrieli laid the foundation stone
Sunday for the Sarona Center, a single, 200-meter, 50-story building in Tel
Aviv’s nascent southern Kirya business district.
Azrieli Sarona will
become Israel’s largest office tower upon its scheduled completion in 2016,
offering 125,000 square meters of working space, a three-story, 11,000-sq.-m.
mall and a seven-story underground parking lot for 1,600 vehicles. It will be the
country’s second-tallest building, behind Ramat Gan’s 244-meter, 68-story,
multipurpose Moshe Aviv Tower.
“People will undoubtedly ask why I am
starting a NIS 1.5 billion project during a period of slowdown and
uncertainty,” Azrieli told reporters. “Those who know our company’s history will
see that everything we do is for the future, and the future is good. We believe
that once we finish this project, the wave of losses will turn once again into
Azrieli Group purchased the land from the Israel Lands Authority
for NIS 522 million last year. The building will be constructed at the eastern
end of the Sarona compound near Menachem Begin Road and Kaplan Street, almost
diagonally opposite the three existing Azrieli towers.
Zur teamed up with David Azrieli Architects Firm to design the building, using
simple geometry to produce the effect that the entire building is facing the
sea, which lies almost three kilometers to the west.
90-year-old Canadian real estate tycoon, said every project undertaken by the
company since 1983 had begun in bad times but finished in good times. This
building, which will tower above the 140-year-old houses of Sarona’s German
Templar colony, would turn the park into the “most beautiful” in the country, he
Azrieli rejected the view that there are too many large shopping
complexes in Israel.
“The question is not how many malls there are, but
rather how many good ones,” he said. “The market will punish those malls that
are not as good. The United States has far more malls per person than Israel.”