Approving the Pinui Binui (Evacuation and Reconstruction) Plan for the Gilo Absorption Center
The approved plan includes 1,294 housing units, seven 25-30 floor high-rise buildings and seven 9-floor buildings, two floors for the community council including a gym and library, daycare centers, synagogues and the enlargement of the pre-military academy building.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion: “This is another Pinui Binui project that will benefit disadvantaged populations and improve the quality of life of all the city’s populations. We have put a great deal of work into this specific project, working together with a number of bodies, and I’m happy we were successful. In the coming years Jerusalem will undergo a significant change, and a great many housing units will be added to the capital.”
The Local Planning and Construction Committee, headed by Eliezer Rauchberger, discussed the Gilo Absorption Center plan on January 8, 2020 and decided to recommend to the District Committee that it file the plan with conditions.
The absorption center in the Gilo A neighborhood is located around a bustling public center that includes the community council, a swimming pool, a high school, a sports hall and an urban square where diverse events are held. The absorption center currently includes 288 square meters and is managed by Amidar. Amidar owns most of the apartments, but over the years around 30% of the apartments have been sold to private individuals. The urban kibbutz Beit Israel operates in this place. The absorption center was designed in the 1970s by Architect Aryeh Sharon and is characterized by graded construction and a pedestrian path connecting the different parts of the project. However, the existing apartments are small in size, were constructed using prefabricated elements, and the building has deteriorated over the years to the point that today it is dilapidated and difficult to maintain.
The Jerusalem Municipality, Amidar and the Government Urban Renewal Authority came to the realization that the building could not be renovated in its current state, and that it requires a Pinui Binui program. The project will provide new apartments to the families who over the years have purchased apartments from Amidar, as well as public housing for the families receiving assistance from Amidar. In addition, new housing units will be added for young couples and families, residents of Jerusalem.
The plan, which is being submitted by Amidar, seeks the evacuation of the absorption center and the construction of 1,450 housing units in 11 25-30 floor high-rise buildings and seven 9-floor buildings.
The plan covers an area of around 30 dunams and proposes the construction of 1,450 housing units. In addition, it increases the building rights of the adjacent public buildings for the benefit of new families who will move into the neighborhood. Among the proposals of the plan is the addition of two floors for the community council, to include a gym and a library, in addition to daycare centers, synagogues and an enlargement of the pre-military academy.
The original architectural design principals will be maintained in the new plan, in the form of a perimeter path connecting the different buildings. This path is expected to be a wide, open space free of vehicles, which will enable safe use by the many children who will be living in the complex. Some of the high-rises in the project also include zoning for offices, and the project, along Ben-Eliezer Street, is expected to include commerce.
The committee discussed the proposed plan at length and decided to make several significant changes aimed at expanding the areas proposed for use as public spaces, the spacing between the buildings and a reduction of the number of proposed high-rises.
With the developer’s agreement, the number of housing units was reduced by 150, so that the plan will include 1,294 housing units, with the aim of reducing the density proposed in the original plan. As part of the decision, the number of high-rises was reduced from 11 to 7, allowing better use of the public areas included in the plan.
As part of the decision, it was also decided that all areas proposed by the plan as private open spaces be changed to open public spaces.
This is one of the major Pinui Binui programs in Jerusalem today, in terms of scope and as a social action and respectable solution for families living in the absorption center, in collaboration with the Jerusalem Municipality, Amidar and the Government Urban Renewal Authority.
The project was designed by OKA Architects and is being managed by Ran Ohev Zion of the firm Ehud Tayar.