The site of the old Tel Aviv Central Bus Station has always been the last word in dilapidation; nothing in the country could quite compare with its formidable mix of crime, neglect, poverty and utter filth.
Now a renovation plan may change all that.
The first official step was taken on Thursday when the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Local Planning and Building Commission approved for deposit a detailed urban building plan for the area, Globes reported.
The plan, drawn up by Kaiser Architects and Urban Planners, covers 19.5 acres between Menachem Begin Road and Hagdud Ha’Ivri, Yoel Moshe Salomon and Hanegev Streets.
The plan calls for 1,160 housing units of 13,000 square meters, 153,000 square meters of business space, 33,500 square meters of public buildings and 4 acres of open space. The buildings will range from 11 stories on Hagdud Ha’Ivri Street to 35 stories on Menachem Begin road.
But not everyone is so eager to let go of what one city official called “a black hole.”
Shula Keshet, an activist from the Neve Shaanan neighborhood, opposes it as a “gentrification” plan that will ultimately remove people from their homes.
“The municipality approves plans in the neighborhood without informing the public. This plan reflects the Tel Aviv municipality’s policy of gentrifying the neighborhood, which means bringing in well-to-do people and expelling us,” she charged.
Sheffi Paz, a prominent voice in demanding the expulsion of illegal migrants from South Tel Aviv, said:
“They’re not solving the problem of Neve Shaanan. They’re just taking part of it and annexing it to Rothschild Boulevard. As long as they don’t solve the problem of addicts…and illegal immigrants, it will be just a closed and guarded site. In effect, I’m doing the work for the real estate people. In 20 years, it will be a wonderful area, but it won’t be part of southern Tel Aviv.”