Tel Aviv
Tel AvivIsrael news photo: S. Cohen

Tel Aviv remains a very popular – and very expensive – place to live, with much of the high cost due to a severe lack of homes for all those seeking to buy. But those in the market for a Tel Aviv home are in luck: The government has authorized the demolishing of the Sde Dov airport in Ramat Aviv, to be replaced by 12,000 apartments and homes.

The small airport is currently used for private planes, helicopters, and flights to Eilat. The Eilat flights into and out of Sde Dov are operated by Arkia and Israir, both of which use old propeller planes at the airport, which is unable to handle jet traffic. Those flights will be moved to Ben Gurion airport, while helicopter traffic will be moved to another facility north of Herzliya.

The decision to open the site to construction was part of the recommendations on affordable housing made by a committee that included Housing Minister Ariel Attias and Tranport Minister Yisrael Katz. The plan calls for reserving a significant number of units for young couples and families that do not yet own homes, and for rental units. The committee said that it expects the project to significantly lower the cost of apartments in north Tel Aviv. The value of homes in the area, which have been relatively lower because of the noise coming from the airport, is expected to rise, real estate experts said.

“This is the largest available plot of land for construction in the Dan region,” said Attias. “We will build thousands of homes, especially for young families. The Israel Lands Administration plans to include a large number of smaller units that will be more affordable for smaller families, and a significant number of units for rent.” The closure of the airport and the beginning of home construction should begin within five years, Attias added.