Haifa’s neighbor

Spacious, modern apartments can be found in Kiryat Bialik for much lower prices than in the big city.

Kiryat Bialik was founded by German Jewish immigrants in the 1930s. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kiryat Bialik was founded by German Jewish immigrants in the 1930s.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kiryat Bialik is one of a quintet collectively called the Krayot. The others are Kiryat Haim, Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Motzkin and Kiryat Ata. Located in the Haifa Bay area at the foot of the Carmel mountain range, they are considered a suburb of Haifa and are compared to the relationship between Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan or Givatayim. But this comparison is not exactly accurate. The builtup areas of these three municipal entities are adjacent to one another and constitute one vast built-up area. In contrast, there are considerable open spaces between Haifa and the Krayot.
In fact, there is even an airport in between them, Haifa Airport.
While the links with Haifa are very strong in terms of commerce and employment, the Krayot are developing their own entertainment and cultural facilities.
In this article, we will discuss only one of the quintet, despite the fact that they all have much in common.
Kiryat Bialik was founded by German Jewish immigrants in the 1930s who thought it wise to leave Nazi Germany.
They were middle-class people – businessmen, doctors, engineers, lawyers – who built for themselves single- family homes with large gardens on a plot of land they received from the Jewish National Fund. This plot soon became known as Kiryat Bialik, named after Haim Nahman Bialik, considered the poet laureate of the Zionist movement.
Kiryat Bialik is a very urban environment.
Despite the fact that the founding fathers built single-family homes on 1,000-square-meter plots, practically nothing remains of these dwellings.
Those homes have been torn down, and apartment blocks were built in their stead. Today, Kiryat Bialik is inhabited by more than 36,000 residents and growing.
Demand for housing in the Krayot in general and in Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Motzkin and Kiryat Haim East in particular, is strong. One of the reasons is the Carmel Tunnel, which dramatically shortens the time it takes to get to the Matam hi-tech industrial park to 10 minutes.
In my salad days, I was posted to the Air Force base at the Haifa Airport, and the road infrastructure was such that it took less time to walk to Haifa than to take a bus or a sherut taxi. Now getting to Haifa by car is relatively fast.
The demand for real estate has encouraged developers to build new projects in Kiryat Bialik. One of these is Azorim, which has a project called Azorim Haparpar. The project includes three 20-story apartment towers located in an area with easy access to the national road grid.
From a real-estate perspective, Kiryat Bialik is divided into four areas.
These areas differ from one another in their demographic mix; consequently, they differ in real-estate prices.
The southern area of Kiryat Bialik is the least favored part of the city. It is made up of apartment buildings constructed in the 1950s and has a distinctly slum-like look. Hence, it is the least expensive part if the city. The average price for a two-room apartment is NIS 350,000. An average three-room old apartment sells for NIS 475,000, while an average four-room apartment can be had for NIS 625,000.
The northern part of Kiryat Bialik includes the neighborhoods of Afek and Tzur Shalom. It is one of the less expensive areas of Kiryat Bialik but is on a higher social stratum than the south area. An average three-room apartment built in the 1960s or early 1970s sells for NIS 500,000, while an average more modern three-room apartment sells for NIS 800,000. An average four-room apartment sells for NIS 600,000, while a more modern counterpart sells for NIS 900,000. A five-room modern apartment costs NIS 1.1 million. There were no fiveroom apartments built in the 1960s and early 1970s.
An area very much in demand in the town is the center of Kiryat Bialik. It is the historic Kiryat Bialik, the place where it all started. Most of the old historic buildings of the 1930s have been torn down, and modern apartment buildings have gone up in their place. However, their disappearance was no great loss to history or architecture because most of them were plain, boxlike structures.
The price for an average three-room apartment in a relatively old apartment building is NIS 700,000. For a similar four-room apartment, the price rises to NIS 800,000. A similar average four-room apartment in a much more modern building costs NIS 1.15m. There are no three-room apartments in the more modern buildings.
There are no five-room apartments in old buildings, but an modern average five-room apartment costs NIS 1.25m.
The newest, most upscale area in Kiryat Bialik is the eastern part. It is centrally located and has easy access to the main roads in the area. The majority of dwellings are in modern apartment buildings.
In this area, an average four-room apartment costs NIS 1.1m. An average five-room apartment costs NIS 1.3m; an average four-room garden apartment costs NIS 1.3m and a five-room penthouse costs NIS 1.5m.
Yuval Shmul, an agent of the RE/MAX real estate network in the Krayot area, told Metro, “Demand for real estate in Kiryat Bialik is sound. Local residents are upgrading their residential standards, and the vastly improved transport infrastructure is also encouraging Haifa yuppies to move in because prices in Kiryat Bialik are much lower than those of corresponding dwellings in Haifa.”