Long a down-at-heels neighborhood, the old Tel Aviv Central Bus Station – no longer a bus station – will be undergoing major gentrification in the coming years. The Tel Aviv central planning commission has approved plans for the construction of apartment towers, shopping areas, and light-industry office areas suitable for high-tech companies.
The area was always considered rough, but was for decades a central travel hub in the city. In 1993 the new bus station opened, with the vast majority of lines moving there. The old bus station neighborhood further deteriorated, and today is populated largely by illegal African migrant workers. Much of the neighborhood’s infrastructure is in poor shape, and many of the buildings in the neighborhood have been condemned. Despite that, many people live in those buildings.
The new plan will see many of those condemned buildings torn down, with new buildings constructed in an effort to gentrify the neighborhood. Plans call for more than 1,300 apartments to be built, with 138 of them set aside for long-term rentals.
In addition, 20% of them will be small apartments, not larger than 80 meters – suitable for young couples – while 30% will be set aside for special-needs dwellers, such as students and the elderly. Priority will go to residents of south Tel Aviv.
The project is being built with public transportation in mind. Besides proximity to the new bus station, the new Green Line light rail will pass through the heart of the neighborhood. The hope is that residents will limit their use of vehicles, the planning commission said.
“The approval of the plan is an important development for the city of Tel Aviv,” a city spokesperson said. “This a major project that will help in the renewal of central Tel Aviv, an area that for years was ignored and was the heart of many problems. Development of new infrastructure, public areas and the light rail will turn this into one of the largest and most successful projects in Tel Aviv, and bring in a new and high-quality population,” the official added.