The Beit Shemesh Local Planning and Building Committee last week discussed a plan for urban renewal and denser construction, which involves adding 10,000 more apartments to 8,000 existing apartments. The plan was approved and passed on to the regional planning and building committee.

Under the terms of the plan, 24-floor apartment blocks will be built alongside the city’s main roads, to replace the existing apartment buildings.

Beit Shemesh, which currently has a population of 130,000, is undergoing major expansion. The master plan, which has yet to be finally approved, has set a final target of 360,000 residents.

The underlying aim of the plan, drawn up by Ari Cohen Architects and City Planners, is to strengthen and develop the city’s longest established neighborhoods, which were built in the 1950s. The plan includes elements of demolition and reconstruction and adding to buildings through the Tama 38 earthquake retrofit program as well as some new developments and giving a facelift to public spaces.

Beit Shemesh city engineer Inbar Weiss said that there is a clear economic logic to renewing Beit Shemesh’s old city center. “In order for it to be economically viable for a developer to take part there is a threshold for the value of the property. The minimum in Beit Shemesh is NIS 1.5 million per unit. There are very many apartments in Beit Shemesh, and I’m not talking about Ramat Beit Shemesh, that meet this threshold.”

Beit Shemesh Mayor Aliza Bloch said, “This is a historic step as part of the policy of strengthening the old neighborhoods and renewing them, which is one of the anchors of the city’s master plan, which has been formed, and will lead the development of the city in the coming years in transport, industry and employment. Only implementing these targets will enable support for enlarging the number of residents in the city.”

Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on March 18, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

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