Jerusalem's Bucolic Alternatives

In recent years, high-rise construction has reached Jerusalem, and the city has been undergoing a veritable makeover. Not surprisingly, communities close to the capital that offer a more pastoral and relaxing environment are becoming increasingly popular.

New neighborhood above Givat Ze’ev

ramat Givat Zeev simulationivory

 

Ramat Givat Ze'ev, only a six-minute drive from the capital, is a prestigious neighborhood being built on a hillside above Givat Ze'ev, facing a breathtaking view. Even before construction begins, most of the lots in the neighborhood have already been sold, a majority of which will consist of private houses.

The neighborhood has abundant public spaces, including expansive green parks with thousands of trees, manicured gardens, children's playgrounds, wide roads and paths with LED lighting, as well as a rainwater stream. Plans also include plazas with fountains, tennis and squash courts, a country club, a shopping center and even a private education system for neighborhood residents.

The dominant entrepreneur in Ramat Givat Ze'ev is the Nofei Israel Company, which is building a project consisting of 370 housing units: 130 ground-level private houses on lots ranging from 250 sq.m. to 450 sq.m., and around 240 apartments in 13 buildings of 10 floors each. There are 3, 4, 5 and 6-room apartments, garden apartments and especially large luxury penthouses. The construction standards are high, featuring a grand lobby, glass-walled elevators and more. Prices of 4-room apartments start at NIS 1.8 million; 5-room apartments start at NIS 1.95 million; penthouses at NIS 2.9 million and 270 sq.m. two-family ground-level houses at NIS 3.4 million.

 

Nofei Israel is expected to invest a total of NIS 160 million on neighborhood development. Around 230 housing units were sold even before the development work started, with the average price per housing unit standing at NIS 3.8 million for a 270 sq.m. two-family house.

 

Nofei Israel noted that, "These are standards that usually cannot be found in Israel. This is a prestigious neighborhood both in terms of its environmental development and in terms of the finish of each and every apartment. We chose Ihud Construction Foundations Ltd. because of the extensive experience the company has acquired in the construction of luxury apartment projects and its high level of execution."

 

The heights of Kiryat Yovel-Ein Karem

 

One of the neighborhoods whose popularity is rising is Kiryat Yovel. It is one of the highest neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and because of its geographical location, overlooks an impressive view. According to the Israel Tax Authority, last year the price of apartments in Kiryat Yovel-Ein Karem increased 11% while prices in Jerusalem as a whole rose only by about 6.3%.

According to Ohad Saban, VP at Dona Engineering and Construction, which is building the Dona project in Ein Karem, "the high demands existing today in Jerusalem have led to higher prices in the city in general and in Kiryat Yovel in particular. Jerusalem is a magnet not only for young couples, but also for those seeking to upgrade their living standards. There is also an opposite trend whereby people currently living in large private homes whose children have already moved out, are now buying smaller luxury apartments that meet their current needs."

The Dona Ein Karem project includes 264 apartments in two compounds, in a total of six buildings. Options include 3, 4 and 5 rooms with balconies, garden apartments and penthouses with 5 or 6 rooms.

Parks and fresh air at Tzur Hadassah

A communal settlement that has become more popular in the past year among homebuyers is Tzur Hadassah, which is located 11 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem. Tzur Hadassah is a unique town that boasts lush green carpets, parks and nature reserves.

A new residential neighborhood is currently being built in Tzur Hadassah, named after the mountain on which it is based, Mt. Sansan. It will include 1,100 housing units. Phase I of the project – around 100 housing units – is already being prepared for initial occupancy. With the completion of the Sansan neighborhood within five years, and completion of two other neighborhoods totalling about 2,200 housing units, Tzur Hadassah will grow to a town of 24,000 residents. However, the rural character of the town is unlikely to change.

According to Shlomi Magnezi, chairman of the town committee, "our population growth presents us with very significant challenges, led by preserving the high quality of life in Tzur Hadassah and the rural-community character of the town. The quality of life and the surrounding natural environment are what appeal to a broad population, ranging from young couples who want to raise their children in a rural setting but close to Jerusalem, to housing enhancers who are fed up with living in a noisy, dense environment. Jerusalem’s air is no longer as clear as wine. Fresh air can be found here, in Tzur Hadassah, which is located 755 meters above sea level."

English in Efrat

What is unique about towns near Jerusalem is that they have become homogeneous communities over the years. For example, the town of Efrat, located 10 minutes from Jerusalem, attracts apartment buyers from the English speaking community who want to live near Jerusalem, but in a less urban environment.

According to Zvi Fuks, owner of ZF Construction Company, which is marketing the T&D project, "Efrat is located in Judea and includes two shopping centers, sports centers and a high concentration of schools and synagogues relative to the size of the population. Recently, the council won the Proper Management award of the Ministry of the Interior for the ninth time in a row. In addition, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Efrat's residents boast a medium-high socioeconomic status, and the average salary in the settlement is 10% higher than the country-wide average."

Another town popular among the religious population is Kokhav Ya'akov. According to Zvi Fuks, "Kokhav Ya'akov is the religious settlement closest to Jerusalem that enjoys an observant, strong and supportive community and breathtaking views. In recent months, the community has been undergoing a construction boom and the council is promoting extensive development work. For example, a new interchange was recently inaugurated that shortens the travel time to the Sha'ar Binyamin business center to a two minute drive".

New housing in Pisgat Ze'ev

For those who prefer to remain in Jerusalem, construction resumed a few years ago in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood located in north Jerusalem, after a decade that there was no construction. Today, it is attracting demand mainly from housing enhancers from inside Pisgat Ze'ev, as well as from Jerusalem’s other neighborhoods and from surrounding towns.

The neighborhood has a mix of ground-level and high-rise construction, so it is a kind of refuge for housing enhancers who want to stay in Jerusalem but still live in a pastoral environment.

The Euro-Israel Company is building a unique project of eight compounds in the neighborhood, with each compound consisting of two two-family cottages and a penthouse, for a total of 24 apartments. This type of construction – three apartments in each compound – gives a feeling of private houses; the cottages have large gardens, and the penthouse, the only one in the building, covers an entire floor without neighbors and enjoys four wind directions. The project is currently offering apartments for immediate occupancy.