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arctic tern
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I hope so, even though we don't have conclusive evidence yet.
In particular I would like some news articles announcing the plans and the developer chosen for construction, better yet the construction company chosen by developer.
So far none of this is available, so I will reserve my judgement for later date.
The shape of the new construction matches the shape of the tower...
 

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arctic tern
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City council are just being P*ssies.
Just slap the bastards with a million NIS fine and promise them that every month there will be another million if there is no activity on site.
I can assure you, we will see this tower built in no time :)
Why? It's a private property- and the construction site neither poses a major interruption nor has been in that state for an unreasonable amount of time.
 

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arctic tern
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Damn, that bridge is so small and narrow. Are they going to replace the bridge with a new and big widened one with awesome design?
Probably not anytime soon, because:
1. There is a chance people will be able to cross through Yehudit station
2. There are some plans to demolish Beit Kalka and replace it with a skyscraper. They probably won't replace that bridge with anything serious until that happens
Anyway, that bridge isn't heavily used. There is now a crosswalk below it, and it's often faster to use it rather than the bridge.
 

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arctic tern
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1. Not really, with the required security (even if there is a free pass through the station) it probably won't be particularly convenient to use the station to cross the street.
2. Yeah I heard about those plans a while ago, wonder whats going on with that. Probably will see something once Red line is completed.

Crosswalk is not great, but it is faster and more convenient and also more pleasant (the stairway to the bridge on the Montefiore side reeks of urine).
Thats too bad really, Red line won't have an acompannying pedestrian underpass like so many subways around the world do.
I dunno why, but pedestrian underpasses never really worked well in Israel.
They all turned into asylums for junkies and homeless, and quickly fell into disrepair.
1. Why should there be security for passing through the station? For example, there is security at most (maybe even all) Chinese subway stations- and it's usually after the ticket machines.
 

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arctic tern
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Because it is a closed space with a large number of people which has only a limited number of exits.
People in small closed spaces tend to panic when there is a security event.
Panic in such a place is a recipe for major disaster.
I am not even talking about a terrorist with a suicide belt, but even someone with a knife could cause a panic and a stampede which would end up with many casualties.
It is absolutely necessary to screen people at the entrance and I am sure there will be something similar to what we currently have at train stations (screening equipment for personal belongings, security gate and an armed guard or two at the entrance.
This in addition to various survelliance systems and plain clothes security personnel patrolling the stations.
China (at least for now) doesn't have that problem.
I suggest stationing an entire infantry platoon at the entrance of each station- maybe with a tank or two. I also think we need an anti-aircraft battery in order to stop possible attacks by Egyptian aircraft. Each station must be designed to survive a direct nuclear explosion, and should be equipped with enough supply for a 2-year siege. There must also be a fully-equipped ER in each station, with a medical crew on standby.
FYI- Israel regulation is insanely stupid. No other country in the world has so much regulation on every small thing. Israeli MPs never consider cost-to-value ratios when suggesting any new laws- often passing laws that cost millions to implement for almost no reason. Is it possible that what you suggest will happen? Probably. Does it make any sense? absolutely not.

security is always needed. every large tube station in london has hidden security on top of uniform security.
if you are trained how to notice them, you will notice them easily.
Great- as long as it doesn't hinder the stations' functionality.
 

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arctic tern
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It looks like there's room for another tower just south of this one.
Not really. There is a historical building, a road and the entrance to Yehudit station will be located there as well. This map explains the situation better:


I do hope that the new developments will include a path connecting Begin Road to Sarona directly. Currently the entire side is totally blocked.
 

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arctic tern
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maybe like the carmelit between the two sides of Hanassi.
the gates could be after a free to cross u/g walkway.
thats how it is in most stations with such exits to two sides so it seems likely.

this will probably be one the the 2 busiest underground stations.
Hopefully the planners were smart enough to allow that.

It will be a busy station- but not one of the busiest ones. I'm pretty sure that at least Aba Hillel (HaBursa) and Shaul HaMelekh (Azrieli) will be busier.
 

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arctic tern
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3,777 Posts
I wouldn't start celebrating yet.
Hotels are not exactly the most sound investment nowadays.
I guess what I am saying is, lets wait and see what happens.
1. They probably already paid the contractor to build at least the basement floors
2. No reason not to build the basement floors and maybe the 1-2 first floors- regardless of the current situation. Worst case scenario- they will rent the parking spaces.
3. Construction should take at least 3-4 years. Nobody expect the current situation to last that long. And even if the global hotel industry will suffer for a few more years from lower demand- the supply of hotel rooms in Tel-Aviv is low enough anyway so prices should remain high regardless.
 

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arctic tern
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Have construction crews been reduced during Covid? Probably there've been fewer people working here in the last six months, no?
It probably depends on the whether the construction company relies on Israeli/Palestinian workers or foreign workers who might have trouble getting back to Israel due to restrictions on foreign nationals due to covid.
 

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arctic tern
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This is a good example why such small fines are not enough.
They should be high enough in order to serve a deterrent for developers not to break the law.
14 million ILS is not a small amount, considering they paid only 50 million ILS for the lot (actually 30 million + 20 million for development costs). And so far they did not get any additional rights to construct apartments (which are far more profitable than a hotel).
 

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arctic tern
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Something interesting I have just found:
According to Electra Construction's site the tower has 58 floors.
floors 0-5 public areas, 6-42 a hotel with 977 rooms and from 42-58 108 apartments.
The residential addition was proposed earlier but it was not clear if it was approved.
If what is mentioned on Electra's site is true than this tower will be one of Tel Aviv's tallest. By conventional calculations it should be at least 180 meters tall but as lobby floors and hotel floors are usually taller it seems that ~200 meters is more likely.
I'm also pretty sure it will be Israel's largest hotel (by number of rooms), and will amount to around 10% of the hotel rooms in Tel-Aviv once completed.
 

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arctic tern
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Whether the developer halted the work or purposefully proceed at a snail pace, I'm still wondering if the relevant authorities can confiscate the property and resale it to the highest bidder?
Looks like they are considering doing that, since the developer originally purchased the lot in 2010 and promised to complete the project by 2016 (!). They have already paid a fine of 14 million ILS, but the potential of getting the approval of apartments instead of some of the hotel rooms is worth much, much more.
IMHO- both the Israel Land Administration and Tel-Aviv's municipality should make an example of this greedy developer: take back the lot, pay the developer whatever they originally paid+interest+whatever the existing construction cost. Then approve some apartments in the tower and resell the lot to the highest bidder.
 

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arctic tern
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3,777 Posts
Great photos!

I remember that the construction was put on hold because of a dispute on granting rights to build more floors to the tower. How did it end? The height will stay the same?
Doesn't seem like they managed to get approval for more floors. A plan uploaded to TA muni's website in mid-October shows 46 floors and height of 163 meters above street level:
 
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