Mitcham Kiach




Jerusalem construction is reaching new heights. Projects like the business district are pushing the limits of the architectural definition of the city, and formerly low-rise neighborhoods are expanding skyward. As part of the municipality’s unprecedented plan to change the vertical character of the city, Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners have revealed their vision for Mitcham Kiach.

Located adjacent to Mahane Yehuda, Mitcham Kiach will occupy the site of the historic Kiach school building. The property, which is currently used as a parking lot, will be open to the public, allowing for freedom of movement and easier access to vital shopping streets. The former school building will be converted into a boutique hotel and two 26-storey residential towers will round out the space.

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The project is part of strategy to gentrify and increase the population of the area and will complement the J-Tower and Mitcham Etz Chaim, another project of Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners.




Mitcham Kiach

A First Look At Sea Israel: The Gottesman Aquarium

With an anticipated opening day set for later this year, Sea Israel: The Gottesman Aquarium is quickly taking shape. Here is the first look at the most ambitious project of the Biblical Zoo since it moved from Romema to Malha in 1993.




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A First Look At Sea Israel: The Gottesman Aquarium

Ohel Shlomo and The Jaffa Street Residences

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The historic courtyard neighborhood of Ohel Shlomo, characterized by its colorful outer wall and proximity to the Mahane Yehuda Market, has been immune to the gentrification of Yafo Street for decades. Much like the neighboring Batei Saidoff, however, the depressed location is about to undergo its biggest change since the late 1800s.



With an eye towards the future and an appreciation for the past, Israeli architecture firm o2a Studio envisions the site with its historical buildings preserved and the addition of 200 new residential units of varying size (11,700 square meters total). Commercial space will line the ground floor, overlooking an open courtyard.

Further down the road, o2a Studio has designed an 8-storey residential building. The project, known as The Jaffa Street Residences, features 56 apartments and ground-level commercial space contained in a 4,500 square meter building.

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Unlike the aforementioned Ohel Shlomo project, a portion of the outer gate will be preserved. Additionally, the building will include smaller (45 square meter), more affordable apartments.

The plans for both projects were submitted last year and are undergoing the municipal approval process.




Ohel Shlomo and The Jaffa Street Residences

Jerusalem’s Light Rail – The Red Line Expansion

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The Red Line of the Jerusalem Light Rail is, by most counts, a success. Research by the Jerusalem Transport Master Plan (JTMT) demonstrates that not only has the light rail been a boon for the downtown area, but that it is also slowly changing how residents approach transportation throughout the city.

Just two years after beginning operation in 2011, the number of daily passengers on the Red Line grew from an average of 100,000 to 140,000. Today more than 150,000 passengers use the train daily and an impressive 15% of riders report that they no longer use their private vehicles. This result is considered high.

Additionally, air quality in the area has been so vastly improved that carbon monoxide emissions have dropped from 500 parts per million to fewer than 100 parts per million. Astoundingly, pollution fell to such negligible levels that monitoring was deemed unnecessary.

This is good news for pedestrians, whose numbers increased by 11% between 2011 and 2012 and for the businesses that are now thriving due to increased foot traffic. Expansion of the light rail, and specifically of the Red Line, is not only logical, it’s natural.




Work on the extension is already visible on the roads leading up to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem and the planned final terminal station is being built alongside a new inpatient building. The rail will be integrated along the narrow route through new infrastructure when necessary (video below).

The Red Line is also being extended to The Hebrew University of Jerusalem at Mount Scopus and Givat Ram, linking the two branches through a campus line. A bridge above the Begin Highway will facilitate the connection.

Construction is expected to last for nearly five years and is being funded as part of a government budget of 25 billion shekels set aside for the Jerusalem Light Rail network, which includes the Blue and Green lines.



Jerusalem’s Light Rail – The Red Line Expansion

Jerusalem District Government Complex

Jerusalem District Government Complex 1
Render Not Final

Danya Cebus Ltd. has won a tender for the planning and construction of the Jerusalem District Government Complex. The compound will concentrate many of the government ministry offices currently spread throughout Jerusalem (full list here).


A design by Kolker Kolker Epstein envisions two 24-storey towers on the ten dunam plot on Nordau Street. An astounding 53,000 square meters of office space will sit atop a ground-level shopping area. A multi-storey underground parking lot will accommodate up to 416 vehicles and an additional 27,000 square meters of reinforced underground storage space will enable government offices to continue operating safely during emergencies.

Jerusalem District Government Complex 2

The buildings are part of the City Entrance Project, which is set to transform the area into a major business district and redefine Jerusalem as a local and global commercial force.

The build-operate-transfer project will be maintained by parent company AFI Group for 22 years. Construction is expected to take 3.5 years to complete.


Jerusalem District Government Complex