It was reported today that the Tel Aviv Municipality has decided to revise the proposed plan for the city's Kikar Atarim square overlooking the Gordon swimming pool and the Tel Aviv Marina. The move is not a trivial one, as it delays a plan that was discussed in the local planning and building committee in October 2015 and was in the process of preparation for deposit. It represents a signal achievement for central Tel Aviv residents who in May this year organized opposition to the proposed plan on the grounds that it concealed the seafront, that the proposed buildings were too high, and that it would only serve the wealthy. The developer behind the project is Nichsei Idit (Idit Properties), controlled by Amir Biran, Yakov Shalom Fisher, and Baruch Shohat. The planners are British architect Norman Foster in collaboration with Israeli architect Avner Yashar.
The initial plan proposed demolition of the existing square, including the discotheque/strip club in the center of it, the shops and hotel, and the construction of four towers, two of them 26 floors high, one 31 floors, and the fourth 36 floors. The project comprises 80,000 square meters of hotel and residential space, 4,000 square meters of public space, commercial space, and ten dunams (2.5 acres) of open space.
Architect Meira Mor, who does not live in the area but swims daily in the adjacent Gordon pool and who has been vocal in opposition to the development plan, is a participant in a round table initiated by the Tel Aviv Municipality Engineering Administration that met this week for the first time. "The municipality carried out a survey and received very negative responses from local residents," she says. "They were alarmed to find that not a single person liked the plan. They consequently decided to involve us, as well as representatives of the Israel Association of United Architects and of the developer. The aim is to arrive at a different plan that will be a suitable solution for this site."
The Tel Aviv Municipality said in response, "After surveying the public's response to the initial plan in meetings that we held, it was decided to continue consultation in a series of round table meetings. Three meetings will take place in the coming weeks, with the participation of the Architects Association and representatives of the public who object to the plan. At the end of the process the updated plan will be distributed."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 9, 2017
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