Despite the many objections filed to the Dolphinarium project, the Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Commission recently rejected the objections and approved the plan. At the same time, the objections made to the division of the proceeds from the project, most of which will benefit German-Jewish developer Josef Buchmann, will be rearranged in a new plan that will divide the building rights between Buchmann, the Tel Aviv municipality, and the Israel Land Authority, through reconsolidation and division of the land.
The plan for the Dolphinarium compound includes turning the area on the Tel Aviv promenade occupied by what was once a dolphinarium into open public space that will maintain the promenade's continuity. Buchmann, the landowner, who will relinquish the land, will receive alternative land to the east between Hayarkon St., Hacarmelit St., Hakovshim St., and Herbert Samuel St. A plan has been promoted for construction of 46,000 sq.m. on the site, half for construction of 250-300 apartments and half of a 450-room hotel.
Many objections were filed to the plan after it was deposited by the property owners living close to the plan's site; business owners, who asserted that the plan was flawed; and non-profit organizations like Adam, Teva, V'Din and the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, which alleged that Buchmann, who had neglected the Dolphinarium building for years, was getting a prize of over NIS 1 billion from the municipality in the form of publicly owned alternative land with many building rights at the expense of the public treasury.
The District Planning and Building Commission heard the objections, and decided to reject most of the alleged planning defects, and to approve the plan as valid, subject to several conditions. These conditions included a 25-storey limit on the towers, a proportion of at least 20% small apartments in residential construction, 300 combined public parking spaces in the two towers, and the inclusion in the plan of 900 sq.m. of main space registered in the municipality's name for public use. On the other hand, the District Planning and Building Commission ruled that the Local Planning and Building Commission would be responsible for devising a new plan for consolidation and division, which would divide the building rights among the parties in a tri-partite deal: Buchmann, the Tel Aviv municipality, and Israel Land Authority, at which time the share of each of the three would be determined. Many objections to this plan were also filed involving the land rights of each of the parties.
Adv. Eyal Mamo and Adv. Dana Fried from the Agmon & Co. Rosenberg Hacohen & Co. law firm represented the residents of the Yeminite quarter and the business owners in the area who filed objections to the plan.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 16, 2014
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