Postponement of Central Station evacuation: Everyone loses, except for Kobi Maimon’s army

On Friday, in a sleepy afternoon, a joint statement was issued by the Minister of Transportation, Merav Michaeli, and the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai, announcing that they had reached an agreement on evacuating the city center from transportation activities within four years. This, after only two months ago the Minister of Transport announced that the station will be vacated by the end of 2023.

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In the announcement, Michaeli referred to the transportation aspect: the Ministry of Transportation will move at least half of the existing bus activity from Central Station to about two new complexes to be built in the area of ​​the fighters and the deaf, but there was no word on the fate of the building. To the obvious questions – such as whether the building will be closed, what the stores currently operating in it will do, whether the municipality must oblige the owner, a Natsva company, to vigorously promote the new complex in accordance with the master plan, or like other Natsva properties – No one answers.

At this stage, the owners of the shops at the station as well as the future of the building are not part of the system of considerations of the Ministry of Transport and the municipality which have been trying for a long time to formulate a proper eviction agreement without success. The moves of the last few days to transfer part of the transport within 4 years have been heard by the store owners from the media, and although they do not share them they understand well the implications for them. “It’s pretty clear that if the buses leave the commercial part of the station will die slowly, it’s dying anyway. Apart from Kobi Maimon all the other rights holders are private. I guess what will happen is that financing through Natsva will increase the pressure on them to try to buy more and more shops. The planning when he has no partners, “says Adv. Zvi Shuv, who represents some of the owners of the stores at the station.

According to reports from Airport City, where the financial data of the property are published, Natsva’s rental income in the complex is about NIS 55 million a year, of which about NIS 40 million is transferred to it by the Ministry of Transportation. The value of the property in the books is about 422 NIS 1 million and it is estimated that it will also only increase in light of the development momentum in south Tel Aviv.

“In the past, Natsva demanded that property owners pay very high management fees as part of its strategy to break down the store owners and buy the properties from them cheaply. Regarding the closed stores, there is a court decision not to collect from them. “In the part that remains open. In addition to everything, Natsva is defined as a mortgage company for the complex and all the registration goes through it, so it knows about every transaction that is closed there,” adds Adv. Shuv.

Shimon Hoshia is the heir of 2 stores in the station, one closed and one open, for which he does not even charge rent, “My store only pays the current expenses and management fees, does not even charge rent. When the complex loses transportation, the trade will be white elephant, There will be no economic justification for this, already today it is faltering with transportation, so who will get in there later? “. Hoshia estimates that after the station is evacuated, the stores will close but will still be required to pay the management fee, a move that will serve the Natsva company well. “He (Kobi Maimon) wants people to go down on all fours to take the stores from them. For years he has been ‘collecting’ stores for pennies. Some people have offered the store NIS 5,000.”

The saga of evacuating Central Station from public transport is not new, but the gaps between the moves initiated by the Ministry of Transport under the previous government and the current one are huge. Just two months ago, the Minister of Transportation announced that an agreement was to be signed with the Tel Aviv Municipality to evacuate the station by the end of 2023, but last Friday the parties announced that the land designation of the Panorama complex that was supposed to absorb the bulk of transportation did not advance such a move. , Therefore the evacuation should be postponed until the beginning of 2026.

Michaeli said she preferred a compromise with the municipality rather than insisting and dragging the parties into endless disputes in the courts. “We knew there was a planning problem in Panorama’s land, but we thought there was a solution at the local level and when we saw that there was not, we realized that such a move would lead to war and courts and it is not known how long it would take,” Michaeli said in a conversation. The environment. ”According to the new agreement signed, within about two years, at least half of the existing bus activity will be transferred to other complexes in the area.

Later, within 4 years, all the buses will be transferred from the station to other complexes, as well as to the Panorama complex where only about 10% of the desired land can be utilized. Regarding the period when the buses will continue to arrive at the station, Michaeli said that the municipality and the Ministry of Transportation will oblige the developer to improve the conditions, but it is not clear how and by what authority they will require it.

The Tel Aviv Municipality stated: “The Ministry of Transportation and the municipality have reached an agreement on the evacuation of the Central Station. The planning is an adapted planning of the national public transportation network, so that in the coming years lines will be diverted from Central Station to alternative terminals. The planning also includes a solution for maintenance and service areas for buses (overnight parking, electrification and refueling, cleaning and maintenance). At the same time, the state and the municipality will increase enforcement on the cleanliness and order at the station. The demolition of the structure is a planning process, which we will promote with high intensity. It is currently not possible to specify a schedule.

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