Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Sivan 5768 - June 19, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Chareidi Foreign Investors Purchase NIS 4 Billion in Real Estate Holdings

By M. Green

Commercial real-estate holdings in Israel by chareidi and other religious Jews living outside of Israel totaled over $4 billion shekels over the past two years according to a special study released to mark the Managers' Forum scheduled to take place next month at the International Conference Center (Binyanei Ha'uma) in Jerusalem.

The study, which will be fully reported at the conference, provides details about dozens of new deals in the commercial real-estate market, including profit-generating real-estate purchases, residential buildings, office and commercial space and land acquisitions for long-term business investments. The deals reported in the survey do not relate to the purchase of houses and apartments for personal use.

The data reveals that the most prominent real-estate deal made during the past two years (June 06 through June 08) was the acquisition of the Elite facilities in Ramat Gan by the controlling owner of Ezorim, chareidi real-estate developer Shaya Boymelgreen of New York.

The compound was purchased in two consecutive deals for $95 million, in partnership with foreign and local diamond merchants. The investment in the entire project will come to $250 million, an increase of over $30 million above the preliminary forecast due to the rise in construction costs.

The sale of the Elite facility is also considered one of the most successful investments in Israel executed by a foreign resident. Selling the compound earned chareidi real-estate investor Sonny Kahn of Miami a pretax gain of over $35 million within two years.

The comprehensive study reported on large land transactions executed in cities and chareidi areas, including the purchase of land with rights for 1,400 apartments in Ramat Beit Shemesh by foreign investors from various Chassidic groups (800 units) and the Old Yishuv kehilloh in Jerusalem (600 units). Also reported was the purchase of land for some 2,000 housing units in total in Jerusalem's northern and central neighborhoods and the purchase of 1,500 housing units near the Ben Shemen Interchange by foreign investors from the US.

The study reveals that the most notable foreign investor in Israel in the real-estate industry is chareidi businessman Chananiya-Lipa (Leo) Noe of Golders Green in London. During the past two years Noe has invested over NIS 2 billion ($600 million) in income-producing real estate for office and commercial space through the British-Israel Group. After five years of activity in the Israeli real-estate industry, today Noe has over NIS 8 billion ($2.3 billion) in holdings in commercial and business centers. The group's books list a total of NIS 5.6 billion ($1.6 billion).

At the beginning of this month, in partnership with insurance man Yair Hamburger (Harel Insurance), Noe acquired an 88-dunam (22-acre) plot of land at the southern exit of Ashdod for $54 million.

The most notable newcomer in the past two years has been religious businessman Younes Nazarian of Beverly Hills, California, who is active in the US in communications, real estate and hotel deals. A few months ago Nazarian purchased the large compound designated for residential units and offices near the Maariv Bridge in Tel Aviv (the area in South Tel Aviv that used to be known for the auto repair shops) for $70 million in cash. Nazarian plans to invest $200 million in the project, with a potential to develop the remainder of the compound, which stretches over dozens of dunams.


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