Ramat Gan’s revival

The Diamond Exchange is known as one of the country’s leading business centers, but it is also a high-end residential area.

Ramat Gan general view (photo credit: RAMAT GAN MUNICIPALITY)
Ramat Gan general view
Ramat Gan, one of the largest cities in the country, was considered one of its poshest before 1948, and it still has very expensive areas.
But after 1948, many of the immigrants who flooded the country were first housed in the city’s absorption centers. Later, the government built apartment buildings, some of which became tenements.
Like most large urban entities, the city has areas that defer both architecturally and demographically to the makeup of its inhabitants.
Ramat Gan can be divided into four areas: the less well-favored neighborhoods to the southeast; Ramat Chen, with its spacious single-family homes; central Ramat Gan; and the area to the west of Jabotinsky Street, also known as the Tel Aviv-Petah Tikva Highway.
Generally speaking, the most expensive residential real estate in Ramat Gan is found in Ramat Chen, the area surrounding the Diamond Exchange, and the area west of Abba Hillel Silver Street – an area of single-family and duplex dwellings astride the Yarkon River. These two areas are located in the western and eastern ends of the city.
In this article I will discuss the real- estate scene in these two areas.
Ramat Chen is one of the most expensive residential areas in Israel, an area of single-family homes and duplexes. The price for an average single-family home on a 500-squaremeter plot can cost more than NIS 5 million. This area of Ramat Gan has not changed. It is still the preserve of the very wealthy. It is located adjacent to the Ramat Gan National Park, a vast expanse of green. For those of its residents who so desire, they have Kfar Hamaccabiah, a fully equipped country club with swimming pools, tennis courts and other sports fields.
The upmarket area at the western end of town is different. In the not-so-distant past, and with the exception of Shikun Vatikim at its extreme west beyond, and its southeastern corner known as Hagefen, it was not one of the more expensive areas of Ramat Gan. But times have changed.
The Diamond Exchange district has become one of the country’s leading business centers. Twenty years ago it was the site of a decrepit industrial zone of small industries. Today, it is a powerhouse of economic activity.
It stands to reason that because of the Diamond Exchange, which is the center of the whole compound, the area features most, if not all, of the important diamond merchant houses that operate in Israel, both local and foreign. But besides being the center of the diamond industry, it is an important financial center. The Israeli headquarters of the State Bank of India is located in the area, as well as the headquarters of Mizrahi Bank. It is an important hi-tech center, with the headquarters of Checkpoint, as well as smaller hi-tech companies, located in the area.
Noam Darsa, the RE/MAX real estate agent in the Ramat Gan area, says, “This area of Ramat Gan has become Israel’s premier business center. It is attracting the head offices of both local and international companies and is also attracting foreign embassies and the offices of overseas government agencies. The district’s transformation into an important business center has had an impact on the real-estate scene. The area is saturated with modern office buildings, and more are going up all the time. The Aviv Tower, Israel’s tallest building of more than 60 stories, is an important landmark. In the future, a 70-story tower will be built opposite it, on the site of the old Elite factory.”
He adds, “There is no doubt that the Diamond Exchange district is one of the country’s leading business centers. But what is less well known is the fact that it is also becoming an important high-end residential area. Wealthy businesspeople prefer living close to their place of work, close enough to be able to walk to their offices.”
He says there is also a new trend in the air. “Business centers are combining modern luxurious office towers with high-end residential towers. This allows residents to live within walking distance of their offices. In these days of maddening traffic jams, walking to work prevents frustrating morning and evening drives, which seem to last forever. The apartments are expensive, NIS 3m. for five-room apartments – more than double for a penthouse in the area.”
The Diamond Exchange has a plethora of residential tower blocks in the compound. Africa Israel built a large number of residential tower blocks in the district. In addition, apartments occupy the top floors of the Leonardo City Tower, formerly the Sheraton City Tower Hotel, and the top floors of the 60-story Aviv Tower. The same concept is planned for the 70-story tower opposite it – offices on the lower floors and apartments on the higher ones. In addition, Gindi Holdings is constructing its twin 29-story luxury residential tower blocks in the district.
The same holds true for the northwestern corner of Ramat Gan. There are two high-rise residential tower blocks in this area and one in the early stages of construction. The Faire Fund is building this last one to a high standard of luxury. The penthouse on the top floor has a private rooftop pool and is priced at NIS 14.5m.
Apartments in these high-rise buildings fetch premium prices. One of their unique selling points is the view of the Yarkon River and the park beyond.
Prices for four-room apartments in modern high-rises in this area can reach NIS 2.7m. to NIS 3m.