The garden-apartment dream takes off

Garden apartments caught on quickly because they combine the Israeli dream of a house with a garden, together with a relative sense of security.

garden apartment 88 248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
garden apartment 88 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Garden apartments are ground-floor apartments in residential buildings with adjacent small plots of land. In the past, the land was was owned communally by all the residents of the building. But now it is parceled out to ground-floor residents. Thirteen percent of all new apartments (about 4,000) constructed in Israel last year were garden apartments, according to Erez Cohen, chairman of the Real Estate Appraisers Association of Israel. The concept of the garden apartment has taken very strong roots in this country. It started in the 1980s when developers realized they could make more money by selling ground-floor apartments as garden apartments. Before the garden-apartment trend, ground-floor apartments were the least in demand and the least expensive. Developers discovered that by adding part of the communal plot to the ground-floor apartments they could increase the price. The concept was simple and smart, and it was waiting to happen. It caught on quickly because it combined the Israeli dream of a house with a garden, together with a relative sense of security. The classic garden apartment is the ground-floor apartment. An apartment building usually has four of them, one at each corner. The disadvantage is that all those living on the upper floors can see everything that is going on below. "Over the years, we started planning new garden apartments, which give more privacy to residents," Shlomi Hasson, proprietor and general manager of Parizat Hasson Construction and Development Company, told The Jerusalem Post. "These are located in terraced, sloping, pyramid-type apartment buildings of two to three stories at the most. There is a garden apartment on the ground floor, a penthouse apartment on the top third floor and a terraced apartment on the middle second floor. These garden apartments have the advantage of not having inquisitive top-floor neighbors looking down on one's garden." Garden apartments are popular with the public, but they are also very popular with developers - and with good reason. The price of large garden apartment with a large garden - up to 200 square meters - can be as much as 60 percent to 70% more than the price of an equivalent apartment on the upper floors that costs the same to build.