JERUSALEM – oligarchs, let the bidding begin.
Now that the United States has officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it is now selling the seaside property where its ambassadors to Israel have lived since 1962, a posh five-bedroom house on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea north of Tel Aviv.
The asking price? Around $ 87 million, which would be a national record for residential property sales, according to The Globes newspaper reported the listing.
But it’s a fair price, real estate agents said, given its location on Israel’s most prestigious street, Galei Tchelet, or “Azure Waves,” a line of ambassadors and billionaires from where you can enjoy the sunset over the Mediterranean.
According to Eytan Blumberg, a broker at Anglo-Saxon Real Estate, it is also an exceptionally large plot of land for the street with an area of 1.2 hectares. The zone restrictions have since prevented landowners from putting together such large plots of land.
The existing residential record was set this year when Roman Abramovich, the Israeli-Russian billionaire of the Chelsea football club, paid $ 65.5 million for a sprawling site nearby, but only a few blocks from the sea Blumberg.
Other residents of Galei Tchelet include the Indian, Austrian and Chinese envoy, Boris Kuzinez, a Moscow-based developer, and Teddy Sagi, the Israeli founder of the gaming software company Playtech.
The residence of the “Mad Men” -era ambassador, the venue for many large parties on July 4th, is more Malibu in architecture than the Middle East and has been renovated and modernized frequently over the years. Recent additions include a Xeriscape garden in the front yard and a pool deck and hot tub in the back.
Daniel B. Shapiro, who lived in the apartment as the Obama administration’s ambassador, said the house was built on land the Israeli government gave the United States as compensation for Washington’s food aid in the 1950s when Israel young country was still poor.
“Nobody lived there then,” said Shapiro. “It was just a rocky bluff. It wasn’t worth anything yet. “
Its first resident was Walworth Barbour, who was appointed by President John F. Kennedy and served as an ambassador for a dozen years. He left hardly any obvious traces in Israel, although his name adorns the nearby American International School.
The current resident is Ambassador David M. Friedman, who has shaped his influence on the country in many ways as a driving force for the Trump administration’s radically changed policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He’s been looking through lately a completely different kind of real estate business:: Israeli annexation of the occupied territory in the West Bank.
In 2018, Friedman orchestrated the closure of the American consulate in Jerusalem, added it to his portfolio, and commanded the stately residence of the consul general in the 19th century.
This residence made the house in the Herzliya Pituach district north of Tel Aviv redundant. The Herzliya Residence was a 16 km drive from the former embassy in Tel Aviv, but about 80 km from the new embassy in Jerusalem.
“We expect sales to continue in the coming months,” the embassy said in a statement. A spokeswoman declined to answer questions.
But Mr. Shapiro said that the much smaller house in Jerusalem does not meet the current State Department standards for ambassadorial residences. “I don’t think this is a long-term solution,” he said. “I can imagine that they will build a new one. But that takes time and money.”