Regal real estate and princely sums

With the exception of Galei Techelet in Herzliya Pituah, King David Street is one of the most expensive locations in Israel.

construction 521 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
construction 521
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
King David is one of Jerusalem’s most prestigious streets. It combines tourism, upscale residences and high-end commerce. In addition, it has distinctive architecture, a famous hotel and an observation tower at the YMCA with a stunning view. All this and more can be found in a single street that typifies the unique and diverse nature of the city itself: a religious, cultural, historic and tourist center.
Real estate is very expensive here. With the exception of Galei Techelet in Herzliya Pituah, King David Street is one of the most expensive locations in Israel.
One of the major landmarks of the street is the stately and prestigious King David Hotel, a Jerusalem icon with an eventful history. It was built in 1934 and quickly became one of the leading hotels in the Middle East. The British Mandatory authorities rented the right wing and used it as the center of the administration in Palestine.
In 1946 the right wing was destroyed in an attack against the British by the Irgun.
The entire right wing of the hotel was rebuilt, and today the King David is once again one of the leading hotels in the Middle East. It has played host to illustrious guests – kings, presidents, diplomats, celebrities.
All have stayed in the hotel, with its grand lobby and Old World atmosphere.
A block down the street is the Hebrew Union College, established in 1963. The Jerusalem campus is the academic, spiritual and professional leadership development center of the Reform Movement in Israel. The five-acre campus overlooks the Old City.
The first limestone-clad buildings were designed in the international style by architect Heinz Rau and feature a distinctive staircase entry onto the campus. In 1988 the campus was expanded into a landmark complex, designed by internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Its courtyards, arches, gates and walkways are quintessentially Jerusalem. The campus has become a true center of progressive Judaism, housing the offices of the Israel Religious Action Center and adjoining Mercaz Shimshon-Beit Shmuel, the headquarters of both the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and the World Union for Progressive Judaism.
Across the street is the historic YMCA. It was built in 1928 by Lord Palmer, the British high commissioner for Palestine, on a plot of land purchased from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. The building, with its elegant arches, domes and tower, is an architectural gem and is another important landmark in this city of landmarks. For many years it was the center of cultural, athletic, social and intellectual life. Until 1991, the YMCA stadium was the only soccer stadium in Jerusalem. And for many years its swimming pool was the only one in the city. The stadium was demolished to make way for a luxury housing project, King David’s Crown.
Besides the magnificent historical buildings on King David Street, new residential projects have been built, such as King David’s Crown, King David’s Gardens and King David’s Residences. These luxury properties cater to foreign buyers who want vacation apartments in Jerusalem. Comprising more than 800 new properties, the prices can range from $8,000 to $15,000 per square meter, depending on the size, floor level and view. Panoramic views of the Old City walls can command prices as high as $20,000 per sq.m.
The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem hotel, which boasts unparalleled amenities, fabulous views of the historic Old City and Independence Park, is being built at the end of King David Street where it connects to Agron and Mamilla streets. It will have 223 rooms on 10 floors, two full-service spas and two fine restaurants.
Adjacent to the hotel there is a residential wing with 30 luxury apartments. Prices in this complex range from $2,900,000 to $3.2 million for approximately 180 sq.m. to $6m. for the larger penthouses. The majority of these properties are purchased by wealthy foreign buyers.
The residential wing is situated in the shell of the old Palace Hotel, built as a luxury hotel in the 1930s.
The wing will preserve the façade and authentic character of the original Jerusalem structure.
Felicia Mizrachi, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Vision, says, “The properties in this area command high prices due to their proximity to the Old City and the prestige of the area itself. In the last six months, two high-end properties on this street were sold, both to foreign buyers who will use them as vacation homes.”
One property was a 120 sq.m., four-room, two-bathroom apartment in the King David’s Garden complex.
It had a succa balcony, a view of the Old City walls, underground parking and a pool in the complex. The property was purchased for $2.15m.
The other property was a roof garden penthouse in David’s Village (Mamilla) purchased for $1.75m. It was also a four-room property, approximately 100 sq.m., with a roof terrace overlooking the Old City walls.