Of all the real estate in Israel, none is more expensive than in the departure area of Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion Airport. Available at the airport is a space of 91 feet (with an additional public sitting area and storeroom totaling another 138 feet), which is being auctioned off for the establishment of a kosher meat restaurant. Minimum bid: NIS 2 million ($520,000) per annum.
That minimum is actually likely to rise, as demand has been heavy for the rental, being auctioned off by the airport. Airport officials expect sums closer to between NIS 2.5 million and NIS 3 million annually for the space. At the minimum NIS 2 million price, the winner will be spending NIS 72,000 per square meter in rent, or a whopping $2,089 per square foot. That’s not much less than the average $2,500 per square foot average rental cost on the swankiest retail blocks of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The winners of the tender will be competing against 45 other restaurants in the terminal. On the other hand, they will have plenty of opportunity to make their money back: Over 6 million people pass through the terminal each year, and they are considered a “captive audience” for the services offered in the terminal during the time they wait for their planes to board.