Schneller army base in Jerusalem
Schneller army base in Jerusalem Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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The Israel Land Authority announced on Monday that Valimar International Inc. had won two tenders to build 404 apartment units on 16 dunams of land in Jerusalem for NIS 345 million.

The land is located at the old Schneller army base in central Jerusalem. Valimar, a company apparently owned by Jewish-American businessmen, won the tender against seven other bids. Value-added tax on the deal is expected to bring another NIS 4 million to the government coffers.

Currently, the Israel Geological Survey is located at the site and construction will begin on the apartments only when the it has moved to its new home in the neighborhood of Givat Ram, expected to take place in 2018.

In total, the ILA completed land tenders for 810 housing units on Sunday.

“Despite the early forecasts and misleading pronouncements by various sources in the media, the figures I have received from people in my office show that the pace of building starts in 2013 will be higher than in 2012 and will reach at least 43,000 housing units,” said Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel.

Ariel is also the chairman of the Israel Land Council, the body that sets policy for the ILA. He added that the response to the tenders shows that there is real demand for land available for construction both in Israel’s core and periphery regions.

Ariel also said that the amount of land put up for residential construction in 2014 would be higher than that in 2013.