Zichron Yaacov -- "Givaat Eden"

Givaat EdenGivaat Eden is a prestigious neighborhood in the northern part of Zichron Yaacov. Givaat Eden is a relatively young neighborhood that during the last years, attracted many new inhabitants to Zichron Yaacov, and continues to be one of the most desired neighborhoods. 


Considering Givaat eden from a real-estate point of view, we are dividing it into two main regions. The western Givaat Eden (the area of Hanurit, Harakefet, Hanarkis, Hacalanit and Hasavion streets) and the eastern Givaat Eden (the area of Hacarcom, Hehatzav, and Hasnunit streets). The circular Ben-Gurion Street which begins and ends nearby the Hahoresh School, is the main street that crosses the neighborhood and separates it into an "eastern" and "western" part. 


What is attracting people to Givaat eden? 


The attraction of Givaat Eden has several reasons. First of all the strong demand for single family houses, which is the most desired type of housing in Zichron Yaacov, and Givaat Eden consists only of this kind of houses; second, the development in Givaat eden, which will be done for the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) by "Mivney Taasia" (Industrial Buildings) company, is relatively new, and includes underground infrastructures (so there are no electrical or telephone wires and pillars above the ground). The development also includes the largest amusement park in Zichron Yaacov (with basket ball courts, walking paths, playing areas equipment, sitting corners, and barbeque corners). The Hahoresh School is located  at the entrance to the neighborhood and enables the children to walk to school almost from anywhere in the neighborhood. The Hahoresh synagogue is operating in the school on Saturdays and holidays. There is a plan for building an independent building for the synagogue nearby the school. Another important reason is the wonderful view that is perceived from almost all the houses in the neighborhood.  The eastern part offers an amazing typically Israeli view in the direction of Wadi Milek, Shefia, the Bat Shlomo region and the Muhrakha ridge in Carmel. In the western part of the neighborhood, is perceived a unique scenic view of the sea - 30 to 40 km of seashore from Stella Maris in Haifa to the north, through all the settlements of Hof Hacarmel and down to the Hadera power plant in the south. The plan of the neighborhood ia such that there are no commercial or services areas, just housing. Generally speaking, the character of the neighborhood reminds the planning of a typical American residential neighborhood, and that may explain the strong interest shown by immigrants and Israelis returning from the United States. The neighborhood has two entrances, one close to the other, on the junction of Pinels Road and Ben-Gurion Street and on the Menahem Begin Incline, which is the convenient entry point to the neighborhood coming from the Haifa Tel-Aviv highway. An Egged bus is deserving the neighborhood twice a day, but as a rule we can say that the neighborhood fits those that can commute with their own vehicle. Givaat Eden is challenged by its proximity to the 70 and 4 highways, and by the humming of the circulation that is heard from them. The voices of the muezzin and from time to time the noisy festivities that can be heard from the direction of Faradis are part of the character of life in the neighborhood. The character of the houses in the neighborhood allows a lot of privacy, and many of its residents will not change their location for any other in Zichron Yaacov.


Some History 


Givaat Eden was until 1948 part of the pasture area of the nearby Faradis village. The origin of the name, Givaat Eden is its previous name "Givaat Faradis" (Faradis=Paradise). After the creation of the State of Israel, these lands were expropriated from the village, in order to allow Wadi Milek to be a natural limit between the Jewish settlement in Zichron Yaacov and the Arab settlement in Faradis. With time there was also a compensation arrangement between the State and the Arab settlement. ILA is in fact the owner of the land and it is given to the home owners in lease, as in most residential sites in the country, but not as on the Baron lands and other lands in Zichron Yaacov where the ownership of the land is private. ILA is in a process long term continuous process of privatization of the lands that it owns, and part of this process is the registration of these lands at the land registry office (hereinafter "the Taboo"). Most of the residents in Givaat Eden have received in the last two years, an invitation from the ILA to register their assets in the Taboo, and those who have done it hold a property that the difference between it and a private land is minimal. There are few plots of land for sale in Givaat Eden, all of them are second hand. In the ILA tender from the last year it was possible to perceive an increase of 65% in the price of the land in Givaat Eden in the last 6 years. Additional plots are offered in the outskirts of the neighborhood on agricultural lands, but there is no guaranty that these lands will be thawed and available some day for construction. Those lands are part of the green band that surrounds Zichron Yaacov. 

The population in Givaat Eden is wealthy, includes many returning residents, many Haifa residents that moved to Zichron Yaacov, and it is right to say that most of the population arrived to Givaat Eden outside of Zichron Yaacov. 


The Nature of the Properties 


The entire neighborhood consists of single family houses. The typical house is a two stores villa, and the typical plot is of half a dunam. The construction rights for the villas in Givaat Eden are of 50% with a limitation of 280 m² for the surface of the constructed building. It is possible, according to the City Construction Plan, to build in the neighborhood, swimming pools and covered parking, and many home owners did take advantage of this possibility. At least in part of the neighborhood there is a requirement for a storeroom for garden tools in the yard. There is an obligation (like in most of Zichron Yaacov) for parking space for two cars in the limits of the plot. Along Ben-Gurion Street, and in part of Rakefet Street are located spacious two-family cottages. In Hanarkis and Calanit Streets were built "grapes" (that's how they are called) of single family houses, that touch each other in one corner of the house, without any common wall, but enable to share the scenic open view (in most cases a seashore view). In Ben-Gurion Street, in the "Toscana" project that was created by "Elir" company as an executing contractor for "The First Direct House" and later on for "Mizrahi" group, was terminated the construction of 48 two stores cottages in four families buildings ("two in the front and two in the rear"). In Hehatzav Street, "Elir" company has terminated a year ago the construction of the "Zichron Terraces" project, 18 garden apartments and penthouses in three terraced buildings of six floors each. Each apartment has an exit to the garden, a splendid view to the valley and the mountains and a big balcony.  




In Givaat Eden, there are varied types of properties and their appropriate advantages, hence there is relatively a big spread in the prices in the neighborhood. In general, it's possible to say, that a seashore scenic view, in the western part of the neighborhood, is reflected in a premium of approximately 30% in the price of the property, compared to a property in the eastern part of the neighborhood with a valley and mountains view. The price of a spacious apartment of about 165 m² in the "Zichron Terraces" project begins at $290,000. The price of a four-family cottage in the "Toscana" project may reach the $300,000 according to its location and the view it offers, if at all. Two-family cottages in Ben-Gurion Street or Hacarcom street are offered for $320,000 up to $450,000 according to their location, their view, their size and state of the property. There are also upward exceptions. A house with a view to the sea in these streets (and there are houses of this kind), will have a higher price. Spacious villas on half dunam of land in Eastern Givaat Eden, are offered for $600,000, but it is possible to find deals of less than $400,000, again according to the luxury of the construction and the maintenance, the view, and the size of the constructed space (as mentioned, almost all the plots are of the same size, about half of a dunam, therefore the size of the plot has no influence on the price of the property). In western Givat Eden, it's possible to find houses in "Grapes" in the Narkis and Calanit Streets (some of them with view to the sea), beginning at $400,000. We shall note that some of these "Grape" houses that were built just at the beginning of the construction in Givaat Eden, 15 years ago, are built from materials and products (paving, windows, doors, etc.), which are no more fashionable and their current alternatives are esthetically and technically more attractive, and may require a fundamental renovation. Very few houses in western Givat Eden, may reach the price of $700,000 to $1,000,000 for a smart and luxurious house on a plot of 700 m² or more, with a splendid view to the sea, a swimming pool and all other possible pampering. In general it's possible to say that the prices of the houses in western Givaat Eden increase with the proximity of the house to the exterior line that is the neighborhood's limit. Properties in the Nurit Street achieve normally higher prices than properties in the Rakefet Street, which get higher prices than houses in Narkis and Calanit Streets. The Savion Street, in western Givaat Eden is exceptional. It gets relatively high prices of $half a million and more for a private house, even though the houses generally don't have a view to the sea. The reason for it is probably that the houses there are the newest in Givaat Eden, all of them are villas, are close to the school and the park, and the fact that there is no pass-through in this street that has only one exit, and has a barrier at the street entry, erected by the street's residents that allows entry only to the residents of the street, and transformed it to a kind of neighborhood inside a neighborhood.  



A version of this article by Yoav Etiel appeared in the "Magazin Hamoshavot" weekly

Yoav Etiel is a Partner at BarEl Properties, Ltd.

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