If you're looking for a detached single-family villa on the beach with terrific mountain views, and in the lowest place in the world, it's worth keeping on eye on the Israel Lands Administration recent announcement of a tender to bid on plots for do-it-yourself construction in Neve Zohar, on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Wednesday saw a cornerstone laying ceremony for the new neighborhood, and according to the Tamar Regional Council, over 900 people are competing for a place in the project, most of them from the country's center.
The project sprawls across 646 dunams or so and its first stage will have 80 plots for sale, with another 60 coming later on. Each of the new residents of Neve Zohar can build a residential home on their land, as well as up to four bed-and-breakfast vacation units adjacent, which will serve as an additional source of income for the community's residents. The average sizes of the tendered plots are 500, 350 and 300 square meters.
The cost to purchase land is approximately NIS 250,000 on average, depending on the size of the plot, which does not include costs for building an actual home.
Neve Zohar, a residential community, was established in 1964 and has around 30 families. It is situated on the southern shore of the Dead Sea near the Ein Bokek resort area. The Tamar Regional Council has deemed the small community's expansion to be very important and has relocated the regional school to the village for the current school year.
As part of the investment in the community expansion, there are plans to build an artificial lagoon next to it, enabling residents to enjoy the bonus of a beach next door to their homes, with requisite beach facilities. In addition, there are plans to set up a high-tech industrial zone, early childhood educational institutions, a shopping center near the lagoon and a country club with a swimming pool inside the town.
"Our goal is to attract a population of young couples to Neve Zohar and thereby increase the number of residents there," said Dov Litvinoff, the head of the Tamar Regional Council. "Neve Zohar offers an amazing quality of life: fresh air, dazzling, unspoiled desert panoramas, breathtaking sunrises, flourishing tourism and quality education."
The director general of the Dead Sea Region Economic Development Corporation, Yitzhak Burba, adds that the expansion of Neve Zohar is of strategic importance on a national-Zionist level: "I consider every person who settles in the Dead Sea valley as pioneer. The expansion of the community and the construction of bed-and-breakfasts in Neve Zohar will increase the number of vacation units offered to tourists and other visitors to the Dead Sea."
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