Grapevine:Akirov’s lot

Founder and CEO of Alrov beats eight rivals or the tender of the parking lot near the Jaffa Gate entrance.

Father and daughter at Mamilla mall 521 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Father and daughter at Mamilla mall 521
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Alfred Akirov has won the right to operate the Karta parking lot.
Through his Alrov company, which built both the David Citadel Hotel and the Mamilla Mall, Akirov submitted the highest bid of NIS 110 million for the tender of the parking lot near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City, beating eight rivals, the closest of which submitted a bid of NIS 107m.
The reason the deal may need the approval of the Anti-Trust Authority is that this will be the third parking lot in the area operated by Alrov. The other two are those attached to the mall and the hotel, which would give Akirov’s company a monopoly over parking in a specific area. If the deal goes through, Alrov will have control of some 2,000 parking spots, leading from King David Street to the Old City.
On the other hand, the Waldorf Astoria across the road from the David Citadel is due to open soon, and it too will have a large parking lot. There is also a fairly large parking area behind the King David Hotel, and another in the huge residential complex behind the YMCA. Karta liquidator Isaac Molho and Michael Rabello, one of the partners in Molho’s law firm, which is handling the liquidation of the Karta Central Jerusalem Development Company – the first government-owned company to be subjected to liquidation proceedings – are not certain that Alrov’s acquisition of the Karta requires Anti-Trust Authority approval.
For Akirov, acquiring the Karta parking lot symbolizes the closing of a circle. Karta held up construction of the Mamilla Mall for several years because it would not approve the inclusion of a cinema, on the grounds it would operate on Shabbat, and would not accept Akirov’s word to the contrary. In the end, the section of the mall that had been designated for a cinema was given over to other commercial enterprises.
CONGREGANTS OF Hazvi Yisrael Synagogue in Talbiyeh last Saturday bid farewell to longtime members Pessie and Cyril Brill, who are relocating to the Nofim retirement home where they can continue to enjoy independent living, in a community of many native English-speakers with lots of interesting activities.
The Brills made aliya from England some 20 years ago and soon after settling in Jerusalem, Cyril Brill joined the board of Hazvi Yisrael, where according to former president Stuart Dove, who also hails from England, he was meticulous in carrying out his duties and behaved “like a proper English gentleman.”
At the service prior to the kiddush in the Brills’ honor, Rabbi Avigdor Burstein, speaking of the barbaric anti-Semitism of Kristallnacht, less than a year before the outbreak of World War II and the Holocaust, bemoaned the fact that young Israelis do not see the writing on the wall and are flocking in droves to Berlin – instead of remaining at home and strengthening Israel.
ONCE THE legendary and powerful chairman of Beitar Jerusalem, Moshe Dadash, after losing his position, left the city of his birth and went to live in Jaffa. Though he has now put his Jaffa mansion up for sale, it’s unlikely he will return to live in Jerusalem – but he is doing business here.
Dadash has acquired the franchise to operate the kosher Aroma coffee shop that will be located in the capital’s Cinema City, which is in a highly advanced stage of construction and due to open before the end of the year. There is still some controversy over whether Cinema City will be open on Shabbat. The cinematheque, which like Cinema City is not located in a residential area, has established a precedent for being open on Shabbat.
SOMETIMES IT pays to know the phone number of an MK.
Yated Ne’eman reported that scores of religiously observant people were stranded on the highway leading from Latrun to Jerusalem last Friday, due to a fatal accident. Fearing they would not get to Jerusalem in time for Shabbat, some car drivers and bus passengers were fortunate enough to have the phone number of MK Moshe Gafni, whom they called and entreated to use his clout to ensure they were able to get to their destinations before nightfall. Gafni called a senior authority in the police force and persuaded police to open one lane on the highway, to enable traffic to stream though.