Talbieh neighborhood in Jerusalem (Photo: Ginny, Tess Shaplan)
The affair of the lands of the Greek Patriarchate in Jerusalem has continued to make headlines for more than 20 years, even about 5 months after we thought it ended due to the purchase of the land by Jewish-American businessman Gary Barnett, controlling shareholder of the real estate company Extell, from Nayot for NIS 750 million.
However, the saga continues, and yesterday (Sunday) Grant offered the owners of the apartments on the land in question in central Jerusalem to pay hundreds of thousands of shekels - and become the full owners of the apartments in their possession.
According to Bennett, this is a fair deal, the prices of apartments in the area have fallen by 40% due to the uncertainty regarding the ownership of the land, and therefore this is a reasonable amount and significantly lower than the value of the apartments, while the tenants will receive absolute certainty that will increase the value of their properties.
Gaza Street in Jerusalem's Rehavia neighborhood (Photo: official website, Eitan Jay Tal, Wikipedia)
The lands in question belonged to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and are located in the center of Jerusalem, mainly in the Talbieh and Nayot neighborhoods. They are now leased to the JNF, which also leased the land to the owners of the apartments built in the area.
As stated, the Barnett Group paid NIS 750 million for the land – a price considered relatively low for an area of hundreds of dunams on which about 1,000 housing units, hotels, commercial areas and more than a dozen plots for development are built. The reason for the low price is the fact that the land is leased and cannot be used commercially until 2051.
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Neighborhood residents: We didn't get an offer, it's spin
On the other hand, the apartment owners continue their struggle, claiming: "It's spin, Brent learned about the residents' demonstration and is trying to neutralize it. No resident has received an offer and no one knows what its terms are."
Tomorrow (Tuesday, 30/05), residents of the neighborhood plan to protest, they say, "the intention to expel them from their homes in the coming years by contractors who speculated on the land, without state intervention."
According to them, "the residents of the neighborhoods have become hostages in their homes after the residents' land leases remain relatively short periods of tax for years, and the contractors who purchased the land threaten not to renew them if the residents do not pay huge sums."
"You bought the lives of thousands of Jerusalem residents" (Photo: Tali Meyer)
It should be recalled that the apartment owners in the Talbiya and Nayot neighborhoods, who are experiencing the struggle for their flesh, sent a scathing letter to Gary Barnett immediately upon the announcement of his purchase of the land. In the emotional appeal, the residents wrote: "Some of us young families with children who paid their best money to purchase their homes, some of us elderly people who lived most of their lives in these homes, some of us Holocaust survivors, want to tell you unequivocally that we will not move from our homes and insist on our right to continue living in them... You didn't buy real estate, you bought the lives of thousands of Jerusalem residents - and we are not a passing currency for a merchant... If we have to, we will know how to wage a determined struggle until justice is done."
The residents' campaign headquarters in the neighborhood claims that it will not stop the struggle until the government intervenes, as it claims it should: "The government cannot allow every land baron to do as he pleases without protecting the residents. We wish to approve a draft law that has been submitted to the Knesset and anchors and protects residents from contractors' demands. This bill is similar to similar bills that have already been passed in Europe and the United States. The bill submitted to the Knesset was submitted similarly to the recently updated Land Lease Law in the UK, and was completed in direct consultation with key managers in the UK Ministry of Justice."
- Real Estate
- Real Estate