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Jerusalem of Gold: This Is the Most Expensive Apartment to Be Sold in Israel’s Capital

The residence was sold for $17M to non-Israelis who plan to immigrate, reflecting a price of $30,750 per square meter. It is located next to a historic mansion built in the 1950s

By Ranit Nahum-Halevy – Haaretz
May 23, 2024

A penthouse in a new luxury building in Jerusalem broke the record for the city’s priciest apartment – 113,000 shekels ($30,750) per square meter (10.8 square feet). The residence is located on the top floor of a two-building project on the grounds of the historically significant Villa Sherover mansion. Construction entailed the demolition of one of the two original structures at the compound at Dubnov Street 1. The penthouse was bought for 62.75 million shekels by non-Israelis who plan to immigrate to Israel.

The project in the Talbieh neighborhood includes 24 apartments, most of which have been sold since 2021 at over 90,000 shekels per square meter. The project’s last sale before this one came a few months ago and cost 100,000 shekels per square meter, 12 percent less than the record-breaking sale this week.

‘We believe prices in this market in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will continue to increase, since demand is greater than supply.’

The penthouse has 437 square meters of indoor space on one level and 414 square meters of outdoor space, including two 90-square-meter balconies and a 234-square-meter rooftop. It also boasts a private pool with a panoramic view of Jerusalem.

“During the war, we have made several major deals in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the vast majority with foreign residents,” say Tomer Dowek and Ronit Hayon Dowek of Prosperity Real Estate, the exclusive representatives of the project.

“The present deal is extraordinary by any measure. The house is in the air and is characterized by a large space on a single level, and the high price reflects a cost increase in the luxury market. We believe prices in this market in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will continue to increase, since demand is greater than supply, especially from foreign residents who are nervous because of the increase of antisemitic incidents [abroad].”

“It’s a high price,” agrees real estate appraiser and economist Hizkya Haetzni, “but I’m not falling off my chair. Almost any price can apply there. The high price is partly explained by the fact that the project was built on the only land in the area under private ownership. The other lots, like those on Dubnov, Pinsker and Dor Dor Vedorshav streets, are owned by a church. Their leases expire in another two to three decades from now.

“It’s also the project with the highest construction costs in Jerusalem, [as its] it has a façade of unique Jerusalem stone, with exceptional architectural design that incorporates elements like high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows,” he says. “There are no other land plots or similar projects in the close surroundings that are attracting the attention of the entire market, and that’s what makes the difference in price.”

The historic building that remains at the site is a mansion of about 1,300 square meters built on 2.4 dunams (0.6 acres), which is now also up for sale. Initially, the plot consisted of six dunams intended to serve as publicly owned undeveloped land on the southern slopes of Talbieh, above the historic Hansen House building, originally a leprosy treatment center. The couple purchased the land from the city and the residence was built between 1954 and 1956 for industrialist Miles Sherover and his wife, Gitta. The couple entertained foreign dignitaries and Israeli heads of state and high society at the house and the surrounding gardens.

The home was designed by Venezuelan architects Carlos Guinand, Moses Ben Ashraf and Emilio Vestuti in a South American-inspired style and stands as a symbol of the city’s luxury. The mansion has three stories, one of them facing Pinsker Street and two facing Dubnov Street. Its roof is designed like an inverted pyramid decorated with colorful mosaics.

After Miles Sherover’s death in 1976, Gitta proposed gifting the house to the country as an official guesthouse, like Blair House in Washington. However, in 1991, she sold the house to a firm owned by investor Jacqui Safra; she built herself a smaller house of about 300 square meters inside the compound on the former area of the pool, which stood next to Dubnov Street.

In 2004, after her death, her house was sold by the Sherover estate by auction to a company owned by Safra. In 2015, both houses were sold to a private equity firm, which initiated the new project, built on the former site of the smaller house.

The investors started to move ahead with the project starting in 2017. It consists of two five-story buildings built on the southern part of the land plot. There are 24 residential units, 60 parking places, a spacious and aesthetic lobby and large outdoor spaces. Three apartments are still for sale.

Like many plots in the area, the land on which the project is built belonged to the Greek Orthodox Church, on lease to the Jewish National Fund, with leasing contracts that were meant to expire in 2052. In 2011, the Nayot Komemiyut investment partnership carried out an initial deal with the Church and bought the leasing rights for a period of 110 years. The company took ownership in 2016.

The attorneys who represented the sellers were Oshri Dahan and Roi Shoval, and the buyers were represented by Shuly Eshbol.

The full article in Haaretz

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