Some 300 apartments in Tel Aviv's Rehov Ibn Gvirol will be pulled down and 900 new apartments will be built in their place in the biggest "pinui u'binui" ("evacuate and build") project ever to be carried out in Israel, reports www.local.co.il. The project will see the construction of three 30-story towers on the eastern side of the street where the buildings numbered 170 to 192 now stand, and one 40-story tower at the northern end of the street. According to the report, the work will be done by the Neveh Nechasim u'Binyan company, part of the IDB group, in conjunction with the NSA company, owned by entrepreneur Nissim Asayag, which specializes in such "evacuate and build" projects. Asayag said the buildings would all be constructed to the highest standards, and he was expecting them to sell for about $5,000 per square meter. No starting or completion dates for the project were reported. Meanwhile, in a separate item, www.local.co.il reports that the Central Bureau of Statistics has found a 14 percent increase in the number of new apartments sold around Israel in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year. The report said that 1,320 new apartments were sold in Israel in July alone, the vast majority of them still under construction at the time of their sale. It said that a significant number of apartments were sold before construction even began or in the first month of construction. The report also said that while sales of new apartments were rising elsewhere in Israel between last year and this year, in Tel Aviv there was a fall of 8% in new apartment sales in the same period. It did not suggest any reasons for this fall, but other reports have mentioned a shortage of new apartments in the city as well as prices that are out of the reach of ordinary residents.