The Tel Aviv Municipality is planning another “fun zone” for residents and visitors alike – on the grounds of the Tel Aviv port in the northwest corner of the city.
The Port was upgraded some years ago to a recreation and leisure area, with a large mall, restaurants, and outdoor performance spaces. But the new plan is far more ambitious, planning for a hotel, fitness center, another mall, and other attractions. In addition, an office building will be constructed, and facilities for docking small boats in the Port's marina will be upgraded.
Critics said that the plan was unworkable and would create an even bigger traffic mess than there is now; no new parking facilities are being planned, and the narrow two lane street (one lane in each direction) that provides access to the facility is not going to be widened. The Port is already one of the most popular leisure destinations in Israel, with an average of between 120,000 and 150,000 visitors each week.
The project will cost NIS 70 million ($22 million), and is to be completed in the next five years. The city has since 2003 poured over NIS 170 million ($50 million) into the site. Private investors have put NIS 120 million ($36 million) into the site during that time.