Sunday, June 24, 2012

Construction Sites (Jerusalem)

 Jaffa Road in Downtown Jerusalem continues to change its face. The local department store "Hamashbir" has recently moved into a new building at Zion Square (Kikar Zion). Right next door, another few floors have been added onto one of the old buildings (formerly MIKE's PLACE).

I have mentioned this quite a few times: Cities like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have specialized in new apartment buildings for the rich. The local population needs more affordable apartments but estate agents prefer building new apartment complexes for the wealthy only. Rich investors from the US or France. Those buyers from abroad are able to afford such housing but only stay in their property over the high Jewish holdays. The rest of the year they spend at home in their countries. 

As a result of this, the local population has to fight over a few affordable houses. On the other hand, entire areas have turned into ghost towns, as the rich hardly ever show up at their property. Just look at the wealthy area across Jaffa Gate. 

A city is formed by its inhabitants and not by some rich investors who actually don't care about the place and only show up when it is convenient for them. On the other hand, more and more apartment building for the rich don't sell anymore and this is why we see new buildings mostly empty. Just look at the huge complex in Keren Hayesod or another one built at Strauss / corner King George.

Another construction site for luxury apartments only: Rav Kook Street near Jaffa Road

Photos: Miriam Woelke

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