TAU to Build Residential "Student City" Complex Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Dormitories and studio apartments will house 2,300 local and international students and young faculty
Architect's rendering of new "Student City"
Standing, left to right: Emanual Lazovik, CEO, Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development; Danny Leviatan, TAU Rector; Shlomo Gal, Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development. Sitting, left to right: Prof. Zvi Galil, TAU President; Dov Lautman, Chairman, TAU Executive Council; Alfred Akirov, Member, TAU Executive Council; Moti Kohn, Director-General, TAU.
Tel Aviv University signed a contract with Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development on July 13th to create a new "Student City" complex, initiating a major construction project on land adjacent to the school's palm tree-lined campus.
Student City, which will extend over almost a square acre, will make it possible for underprivileged Israeli residents from marginalized communities to live on campus, affording them complete access to the higher education opportunities Tel Aviv University offers. It will also provide much needed housing for overseas students, allowing the university to expand its international student population. Doctoral students and young faculty members will be offered accommodation as well.
The compound's eight towers, seven to nine stories each, will comprise 2,300 beds, about 1,000 in furnished studio apartments. Clubs and leisure areas are also included in the buildings.
Four-Year, $120 Million Project
The project was planned by Kaiser Lackner Architects, and will be built by Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development (formerly Shikun Ovdim) and the Solel Boneh Infrastructures Company, using the build-operate-transfer (BOT) system. Overall cost of the project is estimated at $120 million (400 million NIS).
The first Student City tower will be the Chella and Moise Safra Building, named in appreciation of the Brazilian philanthropists who have generously funded it. The cornerstone for the building was laid in May of this year.
Work on all buildings is expected to be completed in 4 years, and a 25-year franchise for Student City's operation will be granted. The building project includes renovation of TAU's existing Einstein compound and the building of a new Broshim compound.
Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development is the entrepreneurial arm of the Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development Group, the largest real estate ventures group in Israel. It has extensive experience in leading technologically complex construction projects, with an emphasis on providing quality of life services and complete structural envelopes for its product.
Expanding Israel's Community
TAU President Prof. Zvi Galil observes that building Student City will advance the university's program to bring population groups from Israel’s social and geographical periphery closer, noting that education is a primary tool for social mobility. “Building Student City will provide solutions for students in need of accommodations whose financial situation prevents them from obtaining lodgings at prevailing high market prices. Student City will moreover respond to the limited supply in the residential housing market throughout Tel Aviv,” he said.
“We take pride in being a part of the new TAU campus," Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development's CEO Emanual Lazovik adds. "Shikun & Binui Real Estate Development has a 75-year-old history of erecting buildings throughout the length and width of Israel, and we will utilize this experience in order to provide the students with the best possible residential environment.”
Tel Aviv University CEO Moti Cohen says the new Student City will significantly increase the number of beds destined for students, and enable thousands to study at TAU in comfortable conditions. “Building the hostel towers will add vitality to the urban campus and permit the University to offer accommodations to doctoral students and young staff members, expanding TAU’s international programs and offering a solution to overseas students.”
Gil Goldenberg, Chairman of the Student Federation at TAU, noted, “Student City is a welcome and important step on the way to resolving the acute accommodation needs of our students in Tel Aviv, where apartment rents are constantly increasing. The students cannot cope with the financial burden, and construction of the new Student City — at fair prices and sustainable conditions — will ease the existing situation and bring comfort to the lives of thousands of students.”