Russian-Jewish tycoon Roman Abramovich intends turning a Tel Aviv hotel that he purchased recently into his Israeli residence, the Mail Online reports.
Abramovich, owner of the Chelsea football club in London, paid 100 million shekels ($25 million) for the Varsano Hotel in Neve Tzedek, a gentrified and very trendy neighborhood bordering on Jaffa.
The 19th century building, which is listed as a preserved property, has a car park on which Abramovich is expected to expand the premises. The lot is already zoned – and has approval – for building.
The property was purchased from local businessmen and brothers Guy and Yaron Varsano. Yaron Versano is married to Israeli and Hollywood actress Gal Gadot, best known for her role as SuperWoman.
The 1,500 square meter hotel complex consists of a main building with a lobby, dining room and two studio suites, and six more bedrooms in three separate villas in the property's lush gardens.
Abramovich reportedly has been looking to buy a home in Neve Tzedek since 2008, when he had a $30 million (120 million shekel) bid for Chelouche House, which was formerly the local school, turned down.
A slum neighborhood until the 1980s, Neve Tzedek has undergone a process of rapid gentrification and is today one of Tel Aviv's most expensive suburbs.
Ranked the world’s 58th most wealthy person by Forbes, Abramovich is a frequent visitor to Israel and has invested in four Israeli start-ups over the past year.
He has four homes – in London, St. Barts, Colorado and Moscow – in addition to the new property in Tel Aviv, a private jet and the world's second largest private yacht.
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