The developers of the Tel Aviv Carlton Hotel want to build a new high-rise hotel in place of the existing hotel near Kikar Atarim. The plan was presented yesterday by the Tel Aviv municipality when it informed the residents living in the vicinity of Kikar Atarim. The municipality is promoting a plan to demolish the Kikar Atarim square in its present form and build three high-rises on the site.
Opposition to the plan is forming among the residents in the neighborhood, who claim that traffic in the area is already congested, and that there is a lack of parking space. Arthur Rashovan, who lives on Eduard Bernstein Street, said, "The plan will be disastrous for residents in the area, not merely when construction is taking place, but also afterwards. All the magic will disappear, and there will be no reason for us to stay in this extremely expensive place. Instead of a plan for high-rises, the municipality should prepare a plan for renovating Kikar Atarim, which was once a very lively place."
Residents are expected to file an objection to the two plans when they are deposited for objections from the public, and have founded Facebook groups under the title "No to the high-rises plan in Kikar Atarim." "If you thought that three towers were involved, you were wrong. There are four towers, with more to follow. They quietly presented us today with the Carlton tower, at least 26 storeys, which will be built at the same time as the three high-rises in Kikar Atarim," the residents wrote on their Facebook page.
In October 2010, the Local Planning and Building Commission approved the Kikar Ataraim plan for the construction of three high-rises of up to 36 storeys, including 26,000 square meters of residential main space 26,000 square meters of main space for hotels, 6,000 square meters of commercial space, and 4,000 square meters of public buildings: a total of 63,000 square meters.
In addition to the built-up space, the municipality will build a public parking lot with 352 parking spaces. The plan conforms to the outline plan for Tel Aviv, and does not require approval from the District Planning and Building Commission. Its deposit at the Local Planning and Building Commission for public objections is scheduled for after the High Holy Days.
Following approval by the Local Planning and Building Commission last November, the owners of the nearby Carleton Hotel asked the Commission to prepare a plan for a new hotel. It is believed that during the construction work on the Kikar Atarim high-rises, the hotel will suffer from a lack of tourists, who will prefer not to stay near the construction site.
The developers want to demolish the hotel at the same time that Kikar Atarim is being demolished, and to build a new hotel that will include residential apartments. Tel Aviv municipality central planning department head Orly Erel said, "The Carleton Hotel is a hotel much in demand, because it resembles a four-star hotel, and its prices are reasonable, in comparison with other hotels. In order to finance the project, of demolishing and rebuilding the hotel, the hotel developers also asked for residential construction rights. Since this involves rezoning from hotels to residences, they also need approval from the District Planning and Building Commission. Our condition for recommending the plan is that the new plan must have at least 600 rooms, the same number as the hotel has now, and that 10% of the hotel rooms must have a two-star rating, with low cost for tourists.
"Other conditions are that the plan allocate public space for Kikar Atarim, that the 340 residential apartments that the developers want to build have an average of 80 square meters, and that every apartment will have a parking space. We also insisted that the building have at most 26 storeys, compared with 17 storeys in the current hotel."
Erel adds that implementation of the plan for Kikar Atarim is a condition for implementing the plan to demolish the Carleton Hotel. "Demolishing the current Carleton Hotel is beneficial for the plan for all of Kikar Atarim, because it will then be much more economical to demolish the separation between the levels on Hayarkon Street and Ben Gurion Boulevard, and to create continuity between Ben Gurion Boulevard and the sea," Erel explains. "The sea view will also be preserved, because the distance between the towers to be built in Kikar Atarim will be the same as the distance between the buildings on both sides of Ben Gurion Boulevard. The aim is to connect the city to the sea."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on June 20, 2017
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