Saturday, March 14, 2015

Klagsbald sells his Rotschild Echad flat for ₪44m

Dori Klagsbald recently sold his net 550 sqm 13th floor apartment in the prestigious Rothschild Ehad Tower in Tel Aviv to a foreign resident for NIS 44 million. Klagsbald bought the apartment, with its sea view and three patios, in 2008, before it was built, from Habas HZ Investments Lt that had constructed the tower. Klagsbald himself lives with his wife, Yael Tevet in Kfar Shmaryahu, and the luxury apartment in the tower, designed by architect Pitsou Kedem, has never been occupied. It is believed that Klagsbald made a handsome profit on the current deal. When the tower was marketed in 2008, apartment prices in the tower averaged $10,000-12,000 per sqm, while the current average price per sqm is double that.

Klagsbald's sale of his apartment follows former Bank Hapoalim chairman Shlomo Nehama's recent sale of his apartment in the tower for NIS 45 million. Owners of apartments in the tower, most of whom bought them in 2008, include businessman Idan Ofer and businesswomen Leora Ofer (his cousin), former Bank Hapoalim CEO Zvi Ziv, Fox-Wizel chairman Harel Wizel, former Electra CEO and former Azrieli Group CEO Shlomo Sherf, Colmobil chairman Dr. Shmuel Harlap, Jacob Shahar (owner of auto importer Mayer's Cars and Trucks), Saki Arnon (former wife of the late Adv. Yigal Arnon), and Apax Partners founder Sir Ronald Cohen, who is believed to be behind, together with a group of investors, the recent acquisition of the dolphinarium site from Josef Buchmann for NIS 200 million. In 2010, Iscar chairman Eitan Wertheimer, son of industrialist Stef Wertheimer, purchased an apartment covering all 800 sqm of the 29th floor of the tower, and billionaire Patrick Drahi, the controlling shareholder in Hot Telecommunication Systems, joined the list of those who have purchased an apartment in the tower.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tel Aviv voted World's 3rd best place for Tech Business

Tel Aviv is the third best place in the world for technology business, according to a new report by property consultants Savills. Austin took the top spot, followed by San Francisco. Savills surveyed 12 global cities with strong tech environments. The scores were measured according to five metrics: business environment, tech environment, quality of life, talent pool and property affordability. New York, Stockholm and London came fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in the overall ranking.

Interestingly, what has prevented Tel Aviv from reaching the top spot is a low score in quality of life. Surely something that should be easy to fix for a city sitting on the Mediterranean seaside!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Meier on Rothschild sales top ₪1bn


Meier on Rothschild tower which is expected to accept its first occupants within the next 6 months has reportedly sold 130 apartments for not less than NIS 1.028 billion. According to the developer of the tower, Berggruen Residential, an additional 10 flats and 4 penthouses, worth a total of NIS 450 million, are left for sale.

"This is a new Israeli record in terms of revenue for a single building - the previous record being held by Canada Israel for the Midtown residential tower and that raised NIS 900 million", explained a representative from the company. He also indicated that in the last month they witnessed very high sales topping more NIS 60 million. The tower, which sits on Rothschild Boulevard at the corner of Allenby has 42 floors and 140 apartments in total.

When it comes to prices, luxury apartments classified as "normal" are around NIS 9-12 million and duplex penthouse apartment located on floors 41-42 costs about NIS 70 million. There is also a penthouse apartment on floors 38-39 listed at no less than NIS 170 million, and that has been waiting for an owner since 2011. Maintenance costs will be about NIS 17 per square meter.

Read the rest at Ynet

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tel Aviv municipality seeks to attract foreign start-ups

Israel earned the title of Start-Up Nation long ago, but most of the technology companies are concentrated in the Tel Aviv area. The Tel Aviv municipal authorities have branded the city accordingly, and have recently begun trying to leverage this abroad as well. The Tel Aviv municipality is not satisfied with 1,515 high tech companies that employ 43,000 workers, and is trying to attract more companies and entrepreneurs from abroad to come to Tel Aviv to enrich the local industry.

In recent months, Global City, a Tel Aviv municipality subsidiary, launched a pilot under which it is giving incentive packages to entrepreneurs from abroad, which include complimentary accommodations for a week or two, a free workspace for three months in a start-up complex (such as a library, or Atidim 7, or other municipal-owned building), and professional support and consulting. The companies also receive legal advice, accounting help, and assistance dealing with the Israeli Corporations Authority, and other entities.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Why Tel Aviv’s market has grown 75% in five years

Certain countries garner column inches in inverse proportion to their size. Israel’s presence looms large, both in Middle East politics and wider scientific and cultural arenas, despite an area of just 21,000 sq km, ranked in size between El Salvador and Slovenia. Although it is in the midst of the Middle Eastern conflict, with associated security worries and international censure over the treatment of Palestinians, it is still prominent in the global property market, with the success of its domestic high-tech industry and buyers from the Jewish diaspora fuelling prime residential sales in Tel Aviv. This city’s renaissance over the past decade has brought accolades for its restaurants, nightlife and arts scene. It is also the country’s most densely populated city, with an average of 7,522 people per sq km, compared with 5,750 per sq km in the capital, Jerusalem. Tel Aviv’s prime residential market has grown 75.4 per cent in the five years to the first quarter of 2014, according to research by Knight Frank, outstripping London, Dubai, Paris and New York. The International Monetary Fund, however, suggests prices are unrealistically high, and the bubble must burst.

Founded in 1909, Tel Aviv grew rapidly under the British Mandate, reflecting the tastes of its immigrant population. A stroll through the city’s leafy boulevards today will reveal – among the high-rises – exuberant houses dating from the 1920s, embellished with art-deco elements and eastern flourishes, alongside more sober lines of the Bauhaus School, introduced by German-Jewish refugees in the 1930s. More than 4,000 buildings of this modernist architectural heritage form the basis of Tel Aviv’s White City area, recognised as a world heritage site by Unesco in 2003.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top ten Israel property deals of 2014

"Globes" looks back at 2014 and ranks the ten most expensive homes sold in Israel over the past year. Six of the homes were in Tel Aviv, two in Jerusalem and one each in Herzliya Pituach and Ramat Hasharon.

Here is the list starting with the house of Arik Vardi that reportedly used to belong to Baroness Batsheva Rothschild and which is located in the Ramat Aviv neighbourhood:

  • NIS 130.1 million - Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP) founder chairman and CEO Gil Shwed, and "Globes" businessperson of 2014, bought a 560-sq.m. house in the Tel Aviv neighborhood of Afeka in August from ICQ founder Arik Vardi, who had bought the home in 2000 for just NIS 20.8 million.
  • NIS 110 million - Ofer Investments controlling shareholder Leora Ofer bought a penthouse in January in the Herbert Samuel project on Tel Aviv seafront from her own company. The 690-sq.m. apartment covers the 20th and 21st floors and also has a 300-sq.m. patio.
  • NIS 70 million - DEKA, controlled by Jacky Safra bought the 1,700-sq.m. Sherover House in Jerusalem's Talbieh neighborhood in December from the estate of Gita Sherover. Located by the Jerusalem Theater at the junction of Pinsker, Marcus and Dubnov streets, the house sits in a 1.1 acre lot and has building rights for an additional 1,120-sq.m.
  • NIS 45 million - PokerStars CEO Mark Scheinberg bought a 588-sq.m., 10-room apartment in Tel Aviv's Rothschild 1 project in February from former Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) chairman Shlomo Nehama.
  • NIS 43.5 million - Canadian-Jewish businessman Moti Maximoff bought a 13th apartment in Tel Aviv's Meier-on-Rothschild Tower in March. The 800-sq.m. apartment has 48-sq.m. of balconies on the 31st floor of the 42-floor building. He bought the apartment through his company, Ironstone Capital.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Leumi lends Taic NIS 1.2b for David Promenade project

Bank Leumi recently signed an agreement with hotelier Henry Taic for the financing of the David Promenade Towers project that Taic is constructing opposite the Opera Tower, close to Tel Aviv's beachfront.

Under the agreement, Bank Leumi will finance the project to the tune of NIS 1.2 billion, covering the cost of construction and the guarantees to buyers of apartments in it. Taic and Bank Leumi CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach celebrated the signing of the agreement with a cake in the shape of the project.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

White City Residence to add another 8 floors?

Just months away from the scheduled delivery of White City Residence to its future residents, Zemach Hammerman and Eurocom just received approval from the Planning Commission of Tel Aviv for an additional 8 floors that would bring the tower to a total of 38 floors and 157 appartements.

In addition, the Commission revoked the duties imposed by the municipality to the promoters, such as the road widening, the construction of a kindergarten and a synagogue, as well as the relocation of the Orthodox girls' school Ohel Jakob to Bnei Brak.

Originally the tower was supposed to be a 30-story building and the developers seeked to increase it to 41 floors. They were then given the option to increase the tower to 38 floors in exchange for public duties. But that option was subsequently cancelled following opposition from Neve Tzedek residents.

The developer is now looking at its options as adding the additional floors after the penthouses have already been built will add further costs and delays to the delivery along with significant penalties.

UPDATE: It just took a few days for the Neve Tzedek residents association to appeal the court decision. This drama is therefore far from over. To be continued...

Source The Maker

Friday, August 1, 2014

Patrick Drahi buys Tel Aviv site for NIS 130m

Billionaire Patrick Drahi, who controls HOT Telecommunication Systems Ltd. and i24news in Israel as well as Numéricable and SFR in France, and who was recently ranked the wealthiest man in Israel by Forbes magazine, with a fortune worth some NIS 10 billion, has decided, like many others, to invest his capital in real estate.

Indeed, he just bought the "Rav Kook" site in Tel Aviv's Neve Tzedek neighborhood for NIS 130 million, not including VAT. The site lies between Hamered, Eliezer Rokach and Ein Yaakov streets. There are several historic buildings on it with strict preservation orders, a few buildings marked for demolition, and some empty lots. Among the buildings designated for preservation is the Rabbi Kook Synagogue, built in 1904, and the study hall of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, who was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Palestine under the British mandate. The site was owned by Yeshuati, a company controlled by US businessman Yaniv Zaguri.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lapid to expand zero VAT to Tama 38 projects

Minister of Finance Yair Lapid proposed today amending the zero VAT bill to include residential projects under National Outline Plan 38 or Tama 38 (earthquake retrofitting). The amendment appears in a draft of the bill published today for public comments. Lapid accepted a recommendation by the Israel Tax Authority and Israel Builders Association to include National Outline Plan 38 projects in the zero VAT plan. "The change will allow service providers in these areas to deduct the inputs tax in invoices issued to them for retrofitting services, thereby increasing the worthwhileness of these projects," said the Tax Authority.

The Tama 38 plan, first introduced in 2005, allows building owners to strike deals with contractors to give them additional building rights in exchange for reinforcing older buildings against earthquakes. The Pinui Binui program creates a framework for tenants of older buildings to be rehoused while their homes are demolished and rebuilt, with the contractor receiving building rights for apartments he can sell. Under the new proposal, work done under either plans would benefit from exemption from the 18% VAT either for construction or demolition work.