The Hof Hacarmel regional council has embarked on a project to renovate 162 old apartments and build 163 more in the central Atlit area, reports Yediot Haifa. The upgrading of the historic but rundown area, which has not been improved since it was built in the 1960s, is expected to be completed within four years. A municipal spokesman said the project was of great public importance and would turn the area "into a pearl of beauty." Atlit, 20 km south of Haifa, is best known as the site of a British Mandate-era detention camp in which illegal Jewish immigrants were held in the 1930s and 1940s. The town, which today has a population of about 4,500, was declared a local council in 1950 and was incorporated into the Hof Hacarmel regional council in 2004.