Neighborhood watch: Feeling at home in Holon

The wealth of job opportunities increases the appeal of the city as a place of residence and strengthens demand for real estate.

Holon (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Holon is one of the urban entities founded in the 1930s surrounding the metropolis of Tel Aviv. It was in essence a satellite of Tel Aviv, but it was a special satellite because it was built as an industrial town by Jewish immigrants who came from Lodz in Poland. Lodz was the industrial center of prewar Poland and was dubbed the Manchester of Poland, as Manchester was the center of European textile manufacturing.
Many of the factories in Lodz were textile plants, and many were owned by Polish Jews. With the rise of anti- Semitism in Poland, there were plans to transfer some of those plants to Palestine, and the area southeast of Tel Aviv was chosen as the new Lodz.
The first (and only Polish) textile plant set up in Israel was in Holon, and it was called Lodzia. Today the area around the old Lodzia plant has expanded considerably and is the largest industrial area in Israel after Haifa. That land is now set to become the largest Azrieli compound in Israel after the one in Tel Aviv. It is situated on a 35,000-square meter plot. When completed, the compound will have a built-up area of 160,000 sq.m., of which 12,000 sq.m. will be a shopping center, and another 6,000 sq.m. will be a supermarket.
The remaining 142,000 sq.m. will comprise 12 floors of offices and premises suitable for science-oriented enterprises.
Having a large industrial park in Holon does not have a direct effect on the price of residential real estate in the city, but it has an effect on the demographic mix of the city. The industrial park is an important source of employment. In these times of traffic jams in the Dan metropolitan area, a place of work that is close to home is a very big advantage. As a result of the industrial park, Holon has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, standing at about 2.5 percent.
The fact that there are plenty of job opportunities increases the appeal of the city as a place of residence and thus strengthens demand for real estate.
The new developments in the Holon industrial area will change the demographic mix of the city. At present, the population of Holon amounts to nearly 200,000. From its inception, it was a city of the working class. Consequently, it has a rating of only six out of 10 on the national socioeconomic scale.
The industrial park is set to become a large science-oriented hub with enterprises in biotechnology, medical devices, nanotech, etc. Science-oriented companies pay high salaries, and this may well attract yuppies and other relatively highincome families and individuals.
Consequently, it will have a bearing on commerce and residential standards.
Ya’acov Atrakchi, proprietor and general manager of the Aura Israel building and development company, told Metro, “We are very optimistic about Holon, and in the coming years we will concentrate on building in the city. There is available land, it is near Tel Aviv, and it is a pleasant place to live. At present, we have two projects in Holon. One, in the Het 300 neighborhood, is called Aura Design. It is an 18-story residential tower of 66 apartments. The other one, in the Het 501 neighborhood, is called Aura Design Plus and is a 22-story highrise with 80 apartments.”
Holon is growing. According to information supplied by the mayor of Holon, Moti Sasson, the population will soon increase to 250,000.
“Since I became mayor 19 years ago, I have made it a point to make Holon a better place to live in, and I am certain that newcomers with families will find Holon an excellent place to live,” he says. “My administration has striven to make Holon a place where the well-being and safety of our children is the first priority. We have an excellent education system. The Education Ministry finances the education system, but the municipality spends another NIS 100 million to make it exceptional.”
The municipality also spends an annual NIS 70m. on cultural and community sports activities, such as cultural and sports centers, which are used mainly by schoolchildren. There is a children’s museum, a water park and other large parks.
The real-estate market in Holon is in pretty good shape. Dikla Pur, manager of the Anglo-Saxon real-estate agency in Holon, says, “The real-estate market in Holon has improved considerably compared to last year. Demand has grown substantially, and there is sufficient supply.
The number of real-estate transactions has increased accordingly. Prices have remained steady, with a tendency to creep up. This is not something unique to Holon because there is a similar nationwide trend,” Pur says.
Prices in Holon are still higher than in Bat Yam by 10% to 15% on average but are less expensive than in neighboring Tel Aviv.
As in all cities, real-estate prices differ according to location. The least preferred areas in Holon are Jessie Cohen and Tel Giborim. A three-room apartment in those areas can cost NIS 750,000 to NIS 850,000. The more favored areas are Agrobank, Het 300 and Het 500. An average three-room apartment in Agrobank costs NIS 1.2m., while an average fourroom apartment costs NIS 1.45m. An average rooftop apartment costs NIS 2.1m.
In Het 300 and Het 500, an average four-room apartment costs NIS 1.8m., while an average penthouse costs NIS 4.5m.
In the center of the city, an average three-room apartment can cost NIS 1m., a four-room apartment NIS 1.35.m. and a rooftop apartment can go for NIS 1.85m.
Recent real-estate transactions
• In the Neveh Remez neighborhood, a four-room, 110-square meter apartment on the second floor with a terrace, parking and an elevator was sold for NIS 1.34 million.
• In the not-so-posh Tel Giborim neighborhood, a three-room, 90-sq.m. apartment, with a 12 sq.m. room on the upper floor plus 73 sq.m. of open roof garden was sold for NIS 1.36m. The apartment has no elevator or parking.
• In the Kiryat Sharett neighborhood, a five-room apartment on the top (fifth) floor was sold for NIS 1.5m. It has a floor area of 120 sq.m. plus 50 sq.m. of open roof garden with parking and an elevator.
• In the Het 300 neighborhood, a five-room 120-sq.m. apartment on the first floor was sold for NIS 1.9m. The apartment has a 12-sq.m. terrace, as well as parking and an elevator.
• In the Het 300 neighborhood, a six-room, 140-sq.m. penthouse on the ninth floor with a a 60-sq.m. terrace was sold for NIS 3.06m. The apartment has parking and an elevator.
• In the Rassco A neighborhood, a semi-detached dwelling with a built-up area of 201 sq.m. on a 250-sq.m. plot was sold for NIS 3.7m.