Tender announced for new Beersheba hotel

The southern district office of the Israel Lands Authority has announced a tender for a new hotel to be constructed on 23 dunams of land just south of the site of the massive new Beersheba Grand Canyon shopping mall, reports www.mynet.co.il. But municipal sources say that given the shortage of residential housing in the city, it might be better to build apartment buildings there instead of or in addition to a hotel. According to the report, the office recently announced two tenders for the land north and south of the Grand Canyon shopping mall, currently under construction by businessman Eli Lahav. The land north of the mall is slated to become a commercial center containing offices and clinics of the various health funds. The 23 dunams of land just south of the mall have been designated a hotel and leisure district. But municipal sources said that with a chronic housing crisis in the city, a builder might request a change in the designation of the southern area to residential, and to construct apartment buildings there in addition to or instead of a hotel. A municipal spokesman responded that the city had not received any request to change the designation, but if it did, "the matter will be thoroughly examined."