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Dror Marmor, Globes: Azrieli takes new Tel Aviv business district without a fight

Published on May 23 2013 // Opinion

22 May 13 19:49, Dror Marmor–Welcome to the Azrieli Republic at the entrance to Tel Aviv. The man who built what has become the city’s most conspicuous icon the three famous Azrieli towers, has taken care in recent years to leave everyone around him small-scale.

Opposite the towers is land for building the biggest office tower in Israel (125,000 square meters). Azrieli bought the land in mid-2011 for NIS 552 million. Alongside is the building that the General Health Fund is selling, and for which there are plans for 75,000 square meters of office space (and 215 apartments). Azrieli bought the building last October for NIS 240 million. Nextdoor neighbor Yediot Ahronot is moving to Rishon LeZion, leaving behind a plot on which 85,000 square meters can be constructed, half of it for offices. Azrieli is now buying that plot for NIS 347 million.

At 91, the man with the most cash and the fewest competitors in the industry (who can or wants to buy land now on this scale for offices-commercial space- apartments?) is consolidating his status in Tel Aviv and ensuring that nobody, apart from a few buyer groups constructing office buildings for sale who are appealing to an entirely different segment of the market, will undercut his rent levels in the area.

And you can be sure that the Elliptical Tower, images of which were released to the media today, will stay on the drawing board for a long time. At most, we will see gradual sales and modular construction of the tower. It will start with expansion of the mall; then they’ll try to sell the apartments, with the intention of renting out the offices in the building one day. That’s how it is when you need to market the “Sharona” tower opposite, and also to see to it that nobody abandons the Triangular, Round, and Square towers…Read More>>

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