EVEN ON ARLOZOROV: "The Proximity to the Tel Aviv Light Rail Reduces the Value of the Apartments"

According to Appraiser Ran Virnik who inspected 150 properties on Tel Aviv’s Arlozorov Street, the value of the apartments on the street will drop significantly - The mass transit project is expected to shut down parking spaces and to expropriate courtyards

06.02.2020 | Arik Mirovsky

The installment of the light rail’s Purple Line above ground level is expected to reduce the value of the apartments located in proximity to the track.  This is due in the main to unsolvable accessibility problems that will be caused by the train axis to some of the buildings located along the track.  This was indicated by the appraisal inspection of the former chairman of the Real Estate Appraisers Association, Ran Virnik, who inspected 150 apartments on Arlozorov Street, along which the train is expected to pass in the future.  The assessment was ordered by the action committee of the street’s residents, represented by Adv. Ronen Yardeni of Hamburger & Co. law firm.

The Purple Line connects Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givat Shmuel, where part of the track is above ground, i.e. on street level, which creates a number of serious problems. "This fact harms the value of the nearby residential areas, because a train, including its planned road facilities, stations and platforms will increase the noise levels from the street.  These include nuisances such as honking, passenger announcements, public gathering along the route and all this throughout the day, as opposed to an underground route," wrote Virnik.

However, the largest problems are physical,, since the plan intends to expropriate areas from the courtyards of homes for the project.  In addition, in some of the buildings, this will lead to the obstruction of parking spaces, so they will not be usable.  “The plan’s documents do not describe this obstruction with text or in a graphic manner, except for a simple X marked on some of the buildings, where the sketch’s legend notes that this mark signifies “obstruction to the entrance to parking spot’..  It is unclear from the plan whether this is a just an obstruction of the entrance to the parking or blocking of the access to the building by car in general, writes Virnik.

The inspection indicated that the value of the private parking space in this area is NIS 700 thousand, and the value of the shared parking is approximately NIS 0.5 million, and of course, the damages are in accordance.

Virnik also indicated the implications for new construction.  “Removing access to vehicles eliminates the ability to add construction to an existing building (including renovation and adding an elevator), and/or to rebuild using the full construction rights (according to TAMA 38/2, for example, A.M.), because construction work cannot be executed on a property that has no access to vehicles,” Virnik wrote in his report.  Such limitations are valued at a million shekels or more per apartment.  He added that there are cases in which courtyards are expropriated, which reduces the possibility of conducting projects such as TAMA 38, which is an additional hit to the value of the properties.

A comparison of the prices of the properties in recent years on the street facing Jabotinsky in the north, indicates that the market ‘foresaw’ the problems that would be created by paving the light rail.  According to the inspection, until 2014, the prices on these two streets were similar; however, from 2014 onward, there has been a clear trend of a jump in prices on the Jabotinsky axis, this despite the more moderate increase on Arlozorov, and a significant gap has been created between the two.  “The market understood the trend in advance, because people are talking and hearing about the problems that stem from the plans, a long time before they are approved,” explains Virnik, who mentioned that in another three months, the date will expire for property owners to file claims regarding a decrease in value  according to paragraph 197 of the Planning and Construction Law.

The Tel Aviv Municipality responded that “the light rail project is a national project designed, inter alia, to enable transportation access and to upgrade the quality of life of the residents and business owners in the entire metropolis.  In order to implement it, significant changes in infrastructure are required, as are the expansion of lanes, by reducing the distance between the sidewalk and the houses - changes that were approved by the National Infrastructure Commission.”

"This planning creates a number of new arrangements regarding entrances to parking areas, accessibility to houses and in a minimal number of cases – the elimination of the parking.  However, in our estimation, anyone who is forward-thinking, understands that the advantages from living on Arlozorov and its proximity will be larger than the damages."