Industrial area to get clean sweep

An Interior Ministry planning committee has approved plans for a major overhaul of Hod Hasharon's Gil Amal industrial area, reports The plans, which were initiated by the city, aim to turn the 72-dunam district into an advanced industrial and high-tech center, with emphasis on more efficient use of lands and on improving the environmental quality of the area. According to the report, the city is planning a "pinui ve'binui" (evacuation and construction) project which would see older industries such as car mechanics moving out of the area to make way for new, environmentally friendly industries, especially high-tech ones. In return, landowners would receive increased building rights. The plans, which were drawn up with the cooperation of the Israel Lands Authority and the Housing Ministry, will see buildings of six to 12 stories being constructed for "clean" industries only, with underground car parks below office buildings. The report said infrastructure development work had recently been completed in the area at a cost of NIS 3 million, with the widening of roads and the construction of new sidewalks, lighting, traffic islands and a public car park. Hod Hasharon Mayor Hai Adiv said the committee's approval meant that the project could "move from planning to realization." He said the upgraded industrial zone would supply additional income for the city and its residents, and he was satisfied that the initial investment would be worthwhile, because "many" companies had already made inquiries to the city about moving to the area. Local real estate agents said the area's proximity to train stations and major roads made it easily accessible from Hod Hasharon and from neighboring cities.