Kfar Shmaryahu Home Sells for NIS 55 Million

Preliminary zoning approval also given to demolish old-age home in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb.

High-tech executive Haim Amir has bought a luxury house in the tony Kfar Shmaryahu neighborhood for NIS 55 million. The home was sold by David Federman, the controlling shareholder of Israel Petrochemical Enterprises and co-owner of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team.

The opulent villa, on Hasadot Road, features a swimming pool and tennis and basketball courts. The property includes an undeveloped tract of 5 dunams ‏(an acre and a quarter‏), which is zoned for two additional housing units. The property sale was apparently negotiated without a broker, a source said.

Several potential purchasers had looked at the house but backed off, the source said, possibly deterred by the house being decades old.

The Federmans sold because the kids had grown up and they didn't need the space any more, said the source, who is close to the family.

Israel Petrochemicals is trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange at a market value of NIS 150 million, a sad comedown from its market cap of half a billion shekels at the end of 2010. Over the past year alone the stock has lost nearly 40% of its value as a result of concerns that the company might not be able to meet NIS 1.8 billion in debt repayments to bondholders and banks.

In other Kfar Shmaryahu-related real estate news, the Herzliya planning and building committee has given its support to a plan − to which public comment is now invited − that would call for the demolition of a senior old-age home, to be replaced by 15 private homes. The plan is being advanced by the Rasco construction company, which has owned the land in question since the 1960s. If finalized, the planning approval would rezone the property to private residential. The home for the elderly, on Aviv Road, has facilities for about 100 residents.

The only opponent to the rezoning plan was local council member Dror Ezra ‏(the Green movement‏), who said it was designed to serve the economic interests of the developer rather than the elderly. “The plan’s message is that Kfar Shmaryahu residents don’t want the elderly in their community. That’s problematic and unethical. The developer, Rasco, which bought the land at the time, knew that it was zoned for an old-age home. The fact that it is not financially to its advantage at the moment is not an argument that should be taken into consideration. If that’s the case, the company should sell the property to someone who will maintain its current use. We are talking here about planning policy and not the proprietary aspect. The fact that the land is privately owned does not constitute an argument. If it did, everyone would make that argument.”

“The case involves a home for the elderly that was built in the 1960s according to the standards at the time,” said Kfar Shmaryahu local council head Dror Aloni, who said it is a low-standard facility that is highly congested and lacks a yard and pool. It doesn’t meet current standards and the owners are losing money on its operations, he said, adding that it is a private facility. “Neither the Kfar Shmaryahu council nor the Health Ministry are responsible for the property,” he said. “We were not involved because the council does not interfere with proprietary issues.”

Moti Kimche
Dan Keinan