Gush Dan High-rise Construction

Tel Aviv - Ramat Gan border is rising above old four story to new heights
Tel Aviv – Ramat Gan border is rising above old four story residential neighborhoods to new heights / © 2016 A. Vider

Much is said about Israel’s success in the hi-tech start-up world. But without the overall economic ecosystem start-ups are less likely to succeed. Israel’s longest running success story seems to be in construction. Without strong local engineering, architecture and construction skills, Israel would end up either as a construction importer (i.e. gulf emirates, Saudi Arabia) or held back (i.e. Asian and African countries). Simply put, without strong transportation infrastructure and building capability the growing demand of modern industry does not have a chance. Gush Dan (גוש דן) is Israel’s business and technology center. For the most part, desirable residential and commercial land is completely built. This reflects more then sixty years of steady construction. This situation is essentially causing a critical housing shortage. The same goes for office space. Land owners are ceasing the opportunity in this shortage. Together with investors and builders they are building to new heights. Residential construction has quickly gone beyond twenty story buildings. Office buildings and mixed-use construction planning is currently beyond thirty stories and hitting forty stories and above. To put things in perspective, just ten years ago, most local (city) planning boards (the regulatory bodies with government approval responsibility) only approved fourteen to eighteen story residential construction. This essentially puts the high rise growth plans at about double in just ten years. This means bigger projects, higher risk and more tension between the aggressively positioned “builders” and more conservative “preservationists”. This is a hotly debated issue in Israel’s popular press. Most older Israelis are barely coping with the high density construction changes. But younger ones are living with it and actually happy to live way high above the twentieth floor.

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