Five real estate developers have bought the 19-dunam, or about 4.75 acre, Kfar Shmaryahu plot on which the American International School currently stands. The group, which paid $21 million for the land, has the right to use already-approved construction plans to build 17 single family homes on the site. However, they have announced they plan to build their own homes there.
Two of the five investors, Barak Rosen and Assaf Tochmayer, are partners in real estate group Canada Israel. The American School, slated to move to Even Yehuda, put the land up for auction a few months ago. Prior to the tender, a number of groups submitted bids and conducted negotiations, but all were turned down.
More than fifty participants purchased the tender book, and representatives of the seller conducted detailed negotiations, trying to boost the bids to the appraised value of $25 million.
"The problem was that the plot was put up for sale as a single unit, substantially reducing the feasibility of bidding for many real estate development companies. For this reason, many of the participants in the final stages of the tender were private individuals," Tochmayer said. He said the other three partners in the deal would like to remain anonymous.
The deal reflects a value of $1,200 per square meter, as 2 dunams are slated for public use. In addition, some land is zoned for open space and will not be available for the private properties the buyers plan.
Sources in the real estate sector said that if the American School had divided the plot into several subdivisions, competition for the plots would have been greater and the total price for the land could have reached $25 million.
The buying group has hired architect Ilan Pifco to design the site. Tochmayer said the group still doesn't know what building rights they will have according to the new division of land; on some plots it will be possible to build two villas, he said.