The Tel Aviv City Council on Monday approved the sale of the Tel Aviv municipality's 73% stake in a parking lot under Kikar Atarim for NIS 150 million to private developers who already own the other 27%. The parking lot has 350 spaces.
Disputes have surfaced for years between the Tel Aviv municipality and its partner, Marina, a company owned by Dov Shiff (which recently also sold its rights in both Kikar Atarim and the parking lot to developers Amir Biram and Yakov Shalom Fisher) concerning the operation and maintenance of the parking lot. Due to the disputes, the parking lot was neglected and poorly operated for years.
In the past, the Marina company sued for dissolution of its partnership with the municipality in the parking lot. The Magistrates Court ruled in October 2015 that the parking lot would be offered for sale in a tender. The Tel Aviv Municipality opposed the tender, and appealed the ruling to the District Court, asserting it was not sure that it would receive the full price for the parking lot, and almost definite that the parking lot would not remain public.
The District Court dismissed the appeal, and the municipality asked for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, which referred the parties to mediation. In the framework of the mediation procedure, it was ruled that one of the parties would sell its share to the other by consent according to an appraiser's estimate. The appraiser's estimate for the municipality's share of the parking lot, which takes into account the plan being promoted for demolishing Kikar Atarim and building high-rises on the site, was NIS 150 million. The parties agreed that the municipality would sell its share to Marina for NIS 150 million, instead of the municipality buying Marina's share for NIS 50 million.
The plan being promoted for Kikar Atarim, which was approved in 2015 by the Local Planning and Building Commission, is being considered by the District Planning and Building Commission, before being deposited for public objections. Until the plan is carried out, the agreement between the municipality and Marina stipulates that the parking lot will remain under the management of the Atarim company on the same format as now (the revenue from the parking lot will be given to Marina). It was also agreed that as part of the plan for Kikar Atarim now being promoted, a parking lot with 350 parking spaces would be built, with the municipality having ownership. It was further agreed that disputes between the municipality and Shiff about the parking lot and Kikar Atarim would cease, and that Shiff would withdraw a NIS 70 million lawsuit filed against the municipality.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on July 12, 2017
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