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Israel Turns Bases To Gold In Real Estate Alchemy As IDF Moves To Negev

Relocation Of IDF Bases To Negev Will Release Land For Thousands Of Apartments.

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Hakirya ,    Tel Aviv

Hakirya , Tel Aviv

One of the proposed solutions for Israel’s housing shortage is the relocation of IDF bases from areas that are in high demand. These bases would make way for thousands of housing units. In recent years, public opinion has moved overwhelmingly in favor of relocating army bases. The Israeli government, the Israel Land Administration, and the local authorities are all in agreement that there is a tremendous shortage of land available for construction of apartments, particularly in central Israel.

The property used up by IDF bases are part of the ongoing battle for the “hidden gold.” The huge economic potential of the available real estate has been estimated at over NIS 90 billion (About $26 billion) , and this has caused the huge spur in land sales. The ILA, which has promised the Defense Ministry an advance sum of NIS 3 billion (about $860, 000), announced recently that as long as IDF camps are not marketed by it, it will not pay the advance. This was confirmed by the ILA chairman, Bentzi Lieberman, after his agency signed a memorandum of understanding with the Defense Ministry and the budget chiefs in the Finance Ministry.

The northern section of the Kirya in Tel Aviv and part of the Zrifin base near Rishon Lezion

Part of the Zrifin base near Rishon Lezion

The agreement signed between the two sides deal specifically with the relocation and marketing of two especially “hot” properties. The first is the Keren Hakirya compound, or what is also commonly referred to as “the real estate holy trinity” that lies on the corner of Menachem Begin Road and Shaul Hamelech Boulevard in Tel Aviv.
This property stretches across 36 dunams that are slated for gradual evacuation. The stage will be the clearing out of nine dunams beginning in early 2014, and it will be used to house a new light rail station. Two more dunams will be cleared out during the course of 2015, and the rest of the area – 25 dunams – will be cleared out by the end of 2016. The plan is being advanced and jointly overseen by the Tel Aviv Municipality. It also includes the construction of a commercial high-rise building that will house 540 units.

A rendering of a development meant to be built at a former Israel Military Industries site in Ramat Hasharon. Photo by Israel Lands Administration

A rendering of a development meant to be built at a former Israel Military Industries site in Ramat Hasharon. Photo by Israel Lands Administration

The Kanarit compound on the corner of Kaplan and Leonardo Da Vinci Streets on the western side of the Kirya is also likely to be marketed. This property, which currently houses part of the Defense Ministry headquarters, will soon include 300 new apartments in two 44-story buildings.
Another “hot” property that is about to go on the market and is quite controversial is the Tzrifin base. Authorities are prepared to evacuate 1, 100 dunams of land for the construction of 17, 000 apartments as well as 1.3 million square meters of commercial space. According to plans, 421 dunams will be cleared out by the end of 2015 in the first stage of the plan, with 7, 000 new apartments slated to be built in Rishon Letzion. As part of the land clearance, planners are going to build an initial 3, 500 apartments that are expected to win approval in the Planning and Building Committee toward the end of 2014.


Tel Hashomer

Tel Hashomer

More IDF bases that are expected to be relocated in the coming years are those in the Glilot camp, where 12, 000 housing units and commercial centers are expected to be built. In the first stage, 3, 840 units will be marketed.

Another very attractive property is the Sharon Military Industries compound, which stretches across 7, 460 dunams (4, 660 of those dunams lie within the main gated complex). This area lies within the municipal boundaries of Ramat Hasharon, Herzliya, and Hod Hasharon. It is anticipated to one day house 23, 000 new apartments, 2, 500 dunams of commercial space, 2, 500 dunams of public space, and 1.65 million square meters for public institutions.

Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv

Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv

Planners are also preparing to build 16, 000 more housing units on 1, 300 dunams of land that currently house the Sde Dov Airport in north Tel Aviv (with some of the profits going to the Defense Ministry). Camp 80 in Pardes Hana-Karkur will make way for 1, 030 new apartments. The Ganim Complex in Ramat Gan will soon be cleared out for 1, 200 new apartments. The Sirkin Base in Petah Tikva will soon be home to 12, 000 new apartments and 30, 000 square meters of commercial space. The northern part of the Tel Hashomer camp will house 2, 033 new apartments as well as 11, 786 offices on a total of 270 dunams, all of which lies within the municipal boundaries of Ramat Gan. The eastern section of Tel Hashomer is slated to house an additional 2, 800 new apartments.

“This is an issue that is of utmost importance, ” Uri Ariel said before assuming the post of housing minister. “People have gotten the impression that the IDF is an army with a country, and the many properties [that it owns] in the city centers have an impact on the cost of living for all of us. The reality cannot remain as it has been here for the past 60 years. It is inconceivable for the IDF will continue to hold onto so much land when there is no need for it.”

Bahadim city In the NEGEV - Rendreing

Bahadim city In the NEGEV – Rendreing

The Israeli government has allocated over NIS 2 billion for the construction of the massive IDF Officers Training and Instruction base in the northern Negev, that will house many of the army’s camps and divisions that are relocating. The project is part of a comprehensive plan to relocate IDF bases to the Negev, and its objective is twofold: freeing up valuable property in the center of the country currently occupied by the army, and expediting the development of the Negev.
Some of the bases and camps that will be relocated from the center will also be moved to the north. The factory that assembles Israel’s famed Merkava tank in Tel Hashomer will move to N’eura, which lies at the foot of Mt. Carmel. Sde Dov will be relocated in two places – the landing space at Ein Shemer, and the Uvda base in the Negev. Glilot, Tzrifin, and Sirkin will be relocated to the Negev junction and the Be’er Sheva region, as will the Technical High School in Haifa.
It is estimated that the relocation of all IDF bases will make way for the construction of over 100, 000 housing units from the north to the south. This will address the major housing shortage that is plaguing the State of Israel today.

Number of housing units land per dunam Name of Camp:

710 – horodezky camp – ramat gan
1200 70 Ganim Complex
5, 000 1000 Tel Hashomer camp
12, 000 600 Sirkin Base – Petah Tikva
17, 000 1, 100 Tzrifin base
11, 000 1, 870 Glilot camp
540 36 Keren Hakirya compound
16, 000 1, 300 Sde Dov Airport
23, 000 7, 460 Sharon Military Industries
1, 030 630 Camp 80 – Pardes Hana-Karkur
9, 000 830 kurdani camp – kiryat motzkin




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