How to make urban renewal more seamless: keep developers and homeowners on the same side

Israel’s urban renewal authorities are seeking to optimize a landmark project that has been effective in developing some areas but is also known for its complexity.

Urban renewal through the evacuation and reconstruction program known as Pinui Binui has been a feature of Israel’s real estate landscape for roughly two decades. But a typical project, according to Times of Israel research, can take 12 years from start to finish.

The Government Authority for Urban Renewal, a dedicated office under the control of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, has published new guidance aimed at tackling one of the main obstacles to the program: keeping apartment owners in a Pinui Binui building involved and committed. through a long, often arduous process.

Pinui Binui means increasing the volume of housing in an already built-up space. Existing buildings are demolished and replaced with taller, more modern buildings with more apartments, built to a higher standard, with more facilities. Existing apartment owners must agree to the project and often must relocate while work is underway, with the developer paying the cost of renting their temporary homes. In exchange, they receive a larger apartment in the newly reconstructed building.

Earlier this year, The Times of Israel reported, changes were made to the program to increase development incentives, allowing for further increases in the number of new apartments (400% and more) and requiring public space as part of new projects.

New guidance from the urban renewal authority focuses on engaging property owners throughout the decision-making process. It includes proposing mediation as a way to shorten the planning process and provide guidance and relevant information to those affected by a given project. It also calls for a more involved involvement of owners in the decision-making process to avoid later objections that cause significant delays.

The developer of each project will be responsible for appointing a consultant who can take responsibility for appropriate public participation and work closely with resident representatives.

“It is clear that there is a need for guidance in this area”, Elazar Bamberger, director general of the authority. “Proper engagement between developer and apartment owners has been shown to greatly improve the chances of success for Pinui Binui projects.

“The guide is the result of experience accumulated through many projects. It makes the main steps required by the developer facing the tenants clear and simple, to the benefit of all partners in the life of the project,” he added.

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