Former Tax Chief Sells Ramat Aviv Center

Israeli-born businessman Yigal Ahuvi and a group of investors recently bought a shopping center in Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv neighborhood for $12 million. They purchased the commercial center from former income tax commissioner Yair Rabinowitch, who bought it in 1999 for $6.6 million.

The shopping center is located at the corner of Ahimeir and and Ben Yosef Streets, and includes a Supersol supermarket and a SuperPharm pharmacy. Ahuvi does not seem interested in exploiting the unused building rights for the center, and wants to continue to operate it as is, at least for now.

Ahuvi is considered one of the biggest real-estate investors in London, and only in the last year has he started to invest also in Israel. Two weeks ago he bought, with partners, the private Herzliya Medical Center for $40 million. That deal also included the building and the center's operations.

Recently Ahuvi competed over the Zim "hole" on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, but in the end Arcadi Gaydamak purchased it for $26 million. Estimates are that Ahuvi and his partners control a real-estate empire worth 3 billion pounds sterling. The vast majority of the holdings are in Britain, especially London. As a result of the sharp rises in British property prices in recent years, Ahuvi has been looking for investments in other European countries in the last year, including Switzerland, Germany and Sweden.