Zichron Yaacov -- "Neve Habaron"

נווה הברוןEveryone loves Neve Habaron neighborhood. Every neighborhood in Zichron Yaacov has its special character, including Neve Habaron. Nonetheless, you can say that Neve Habaron is in the heart of consensus. It's suitable for secular and religious, native and immigrant, "new" members and colony members. It's true, not everyone can afford a house in Neve Habaron, but it seems that every person will be able to find a house in the neighborhood that matches their requirement.




The neighborhood's location is also one of its advantages. It's easy to define its northern border in Hakovshim St. to the west, its usually agreed border is anything west of the houses in Hanotrim St (but this border is hard to notice because it merges with the eastern part of "Hashmura" neighborhood (reviewed in a different article in the series called "introduction to real-estate treasures"). To the east, the neighborhood borders with Neve Remez, in the unfinished part of "Eden Inn" hotel site and "Shirat Hayam" apartments, "Beit Hatothan" structure and "Beit Nir Shreibman", and also the construction zone west to the Sportan. In its north eastern corner the neighborhood is bordered with "Ahuzat Nili" single family homes. To the south, Neve Habaron is adjacent to Ramat Hanadiv's nature reserve.


The reserve encompasses 4,500 square kilometers and it located south of Zichron Yaacov near "Hotam Hacarmel", the Carmel range's southernmost point. About 70 square kilometers from it are gardens planted around the graves of Edmund (Binyamin) De Rothschild and his wife, Baroness Adelaide (Ada) De Rothschild. The gardens plants for the commemoration of the Baron's name are operated by a special Fund that continues to maintain, develop and nurture them. We were only recently informed that work is starting on a new park visitors' center. Ramat Hanadiv nature reserve is protected by a special law that was written to protect it as part of the Rothschilds' condition. The unique option of living right next to a nature reserve is one of the elements attracting people to the neighborhood. The spectacular view towards it and towards the sea, the ability to hike in it starting right from the house, and the improved air quality provided by this thick green lung, are wonderful advantages of Neve Habaron neighborhood (and Hashmura neighborhood as well).


Street names are derived of Israel's wars and organizations fighting in them. "Haatzmaut", "Sheshet Hayamim", "Hapalmach" etc. This creates some of the confusion in defining its western border, as the neighboring streets of "Hashmura" neighborhood are not named after gemstones as in its western part, but also derivatives of Israeli wars (Wingate, Alexander Zeid etc.) This may result from municipal reasons, according to which the entire segment is regarded as Neve Habaron although in terms of real-estate it is a different project.




No wonder everyone loves Habaron neighborhood. It has a central yet peaceful location. Every place in colony is a short walk from it, though it still doesn't have a lot of traffic. It has a small commercial center (in Tashah St.) which is gaining popularity not only from members of the neighborhood but also from many other Zichron Yaacov residents, and it is very near to Zichron Yaacov's two major commercial centers on different ends of Hakovshim St.: Hiperneto center to the east and "Hashmura" commercial center to the west. If you are persistent, you can also get to the center on foot from almost every place in the neighborhood. The neighborhood is mature, and so is the vegetation. Many trees are planted in it, and the general feeling is of a very green neighborhood. In its center, top to bottom, parallel to Hakovshim St., there's a "promenade" allowing a nature walk from the upper Neve Habaron through the neighborhood to "Hashmura" commercial center. In the middle of the neighborhood there are several well kempt parks with playgrounds for children, and on Tashah St. there are Tennis and Basketball courts for the general public. In Hashita St. there is a garden and a monument (sculpted by Israel Orbach) for Holocaust victims initiated by Shlomo Rotner, resident of Zichron Yaacov, and former manager of the vineyard and council member, a holocaust survivor himself. The neighborhood has a luxurious synagogue (between Reuvan and Hapalmach streets) founded by neighborhood members in 2000 (the few people who attended the synagogue used an improvised synagogue in a children's kindergarten in a house on Hasukka St.) This synagogue (built on land provided by the council) was a demographic turning point for the neighborhood, attracting Israeli religious Zionists, and lately many Anglo-Saxons. The council's kindergartens are located on the north end of Hagidonim St. and on the corner of Hashita and Habanim in upper Neve Habaron. There's no school in the neighborhood but many children residents can walk to Hahita School which is one of the schools catering for the neighborhood (the other is NILI School on NILI blvd.) by crossing "Beit Hatothan" or "Hasportan". Most of the neighborhood's houses are private homes, some on large 750-800 square meter lots. Some of the streets stretching from north to south (such as Haplmach, Reuven, Haatzmaut, Hagidonim and more) are flat streets. And of course, the nature reserve to the south.




Neve Habaron was founded in the early 80s, some 25 years ago. People who were here before then will tell you about a beautiful hill with blossoming anemones and chrysanthemums in the winter. The modern Hakovshim St. used to be a dirt road with a row huge eucalyptus trees. Some remained, and can be seen on the center of the road between the north part and the southern part of "Hashmura" commercial center. Nobody believed that a neighborhood will be founded here, "far away" from the colony center. Most of the land in Neve Habaron was owned by "Himanuta", one of the Jewish Fund's arms, originally designed to save the capital of German Jews by acquiring lands for use in Israel. Himanuta lands, as general Jewish Fund land, are managed since the 60s by Israel's Land Administration. In what we know today as Hagidonim St. and downwards (westwards), the land is private and listed in the land registry office.


The neighborhood began in a project initiated by Mashav Company in the early 80s, along with local architect Yossi Tal who indeed left an imprint on Neve Habaron. 200 houses were built altogether; some double family homes and others single family homes ("villas"). According to S/22, the city zoning plan according to which the neighborhood was built, 2 residential units can be built on an 800 square meter plot. Double family homes were sold in the early 80s for $120,000. Single family homes were sold for $180,000. Those were the times!


The continued development in 1988 was Moran-Schechtman's "Navy" project between Haatzmaut and Hahita streets, which was marketed to navy officers (and is still referred to as "the navy project". 20% of the purchasers were indeed navy officers, including 3 Shayetet 13 commanders. Prices then were as high as $220,000 for a double family home of 160 square meters built on a 400 square meter lot.


In 1995 the neighborhood's development continued by local entrepreneur Ilan Kendel, and the architect Gadi Dovrat (who used to be Yossi Tal's associate), in the upper neighborhood around Hashita St. and above. The price for a double family home was already $250,000 then.


The level of development in the neighborhood was considered well 20 years ago, when they still didn't imagine moving the telephone and electrical infrastructure in the ground. In Neve Habaron most of the power and phone lines are on the surface. Electric Company transformation devices can be seen here and there.


Neve Habaron Today... and tomorrow

Neve Habaron has always excelled as a wonderful neighborhood for families with children: the many green areas, kindergartens, and distance from the center of the colony, along with much peace and clean air. Price increase in Zichron Yaacov in general and specifically in Neve Habaron will also be expressed in the increase of purchasing couple ages, and over time more well to do mature couples and less young couples with children will live in the neighborhoods. Today, more Religious Zionist Jews and Anglo-Saxons purchase homes in the neighborhoods.


Plans for a southern bypass route (in the reserve, south of Hashomer St.) from route 4, the "old" Haifa-Tel Aviv route near Hashita St., and from there to the colony axis between Zichron Yaacov and Binyamina, are not being promoted, on one hand, but aren't void on the other. The connection of Trumpeldor St. to Neve Remez was opposed by residents of the two neighborhoods and it is also not being promoted. A blockade prevents passage (for the time being) from Neve Habaron to the colony axis through Neve Remez. Development of open fields in the Eden In complex - Shirat Hayam, and the open areas west of the Sportan, is still unknown. Plans for constructing a synagogue for the reformed Jewish community "Sulam Yaacov" in Hashita St. was objected, but the issue is still in discussion.


Lots for construction are non existent. It seems that in the following years we will see the demand for homes in Neve Habaron increasing, and the old generation of neighborhood homes will undergo upgrading and improvement, as prices continue to rise.




There are almost no lots for construction, and when one of the plot owners does decide to sell his', the lot can reach almost $300,000 and over for a 500 square meter lot for one single family home ("villa"). The simple math tells us that one square kilometer of land in Neve Habaron will cost $600,000 and over.


Home prices in Neve Habaron highly depend on their location in the neighborhood. Some streets, such as the "rural" Reuven St., the paved Sheshet Hayamim St., and Hashomer St. next to the nature reserve have a "charming" location which also affects the price. Usually, a good location in the upper neighborhood will mean a higher cost. Generally, in crude terms, it's possible to say that prices in Neve Habaron rise as you get farther away from the corner of Hakovshim/Hagidonim in a diagonal line towards the corner of Hashomer/Hashita. The cheaper homes will be found close to Hashmura commercial center and along the busy Hakovshim St, and the expensive homes are those right next to the reserve up Hashomer St. 300 square meter homes on 800 square meter lots and above in Hashomer St close to the part with a view (at least partial) of the sea, will reach $700,000-1,000,000 and over.


On the other hand, double family homes, starting with terrace apartments where porches are located over neighbors' yards (and there are many such homes in the neighborhoods in Haatzmaut St. for instance), and double family homes in Hakovshim St. can be purchased for $270,000-300,000.


In the middle, the full price range exists according to location, size of house and lot, and the nearing serenity (or noise).



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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