The IDF bases which will be relocated to the Negev from Ramat Gan, Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion, Kiryat Ono and Tel Aviv will be making room for some 26,000 new housing units, 23% of which have been designated for affordable housing and rentals for young couples. The agreement is set to be finalized in the coming weeks.
Last month, a draft of the agreement between the Israel Land Administration, the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry with regards to the relocation was presented to Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias.
According to the draft, the Defense Ministry will clear out the IDF bases in Tel HaShomer near Kiryat Ono, the Sirkin base in Petah Tikva the Central Personnel Directorate base in Ramat Gan the Tzrifin base in the Rishon LeZion area and the Tel Haim base in Tel Aviv – all prime real estate locations.
Some 26,000 housing units are set to be constructed on the land and at least 400,000 square meters of land will be designated for business and industry purposes.
In exchange for the relocation, the Defense Ministry will receive a sum of NIS 2 billion ($520 million) from the Israel Land Administration which will be paid out over the course of 2012. The payment will be a deposit for the Defense Ministry's share in the profits expected from the marketing of the lands which is set to be worth 34% in the future.
Minister Atias welcomed the progress and said "the IDF base Negev relocation initiative is welcome news for the general Israeli public.
"This pushes forward (the construction) of tens of thousands of housing units in the most sought after locations in the country, which without a doubt will make a major contribution to continuing the drop on real estate prices."
The zoning of the soon-to-be residential land will be put in the hands of the Defense Ministry according to the draft agreement. For this purpose the Land Administration will allocate NIS 60 million ($15.75 million) over a three year period.
Atias noted that "the agreement includes several elements that need to be changed in order to accelerate the construction of tens of thousands of housing units, a large chuck of which will be set aside for affordable housing intended for young couples."
Atias also stated that it was his intention to convene all involved parties in order to examine the agreement and methods of speeding up the zoning process in order to implement the agreement as soon as possible.