Thursday, March 29

Jaffa - Andromeda strain: 1 - 0, sort of

After a lengthy discussion yesterday at the Ministry of the Interior, it was decided to open up the Andromeda closed compound (gated community) in Jaffa to the general public, BUT....

When the building permit for the Andromeda luxury apartment complex in Jaffa was given, the walkways and observation point were to be open to the public.
However, once the inhabitants moved in, all that was forgotten and the gates to the luxury alien colony remained locked, especially to Jaffa's large Arab population, who could enter working as maids, cleaners or gardeners, but not as legitimate visitors.
The legal fight taken up by a few Jaffa NGO's , "Bimkom" and the Society for the Protection of Nature's Tel Aviv community green forum isn't yet over (waiting for the court's decision) but yesterday the Ministry of the Interior committee in its plenary session decided more or less in favor of the Jaffa community: The walkways are to be open, 85% of the public square in the middle of then gated community's open spaces will be public as well (except for the fringes close to the apartments of the community, in order to give them some privacy) and the observation point above the harbour will be open to the general public as well.
In return the developers were given the right to construct an additional 50 apartments, implying an added 2 stories on top of the most northern building, which put the height of the buildings way above the guidelines of maximum height in Ajami.

I'm gonna have a nice pick nick there this weekend :)

9 comments:

Akiva said...

yudit,any pictures of the Andromeda development?

J.P. said...

In our part of civilization a company will be FORCED to keep the promise, from what I read in your lines these people do get a bonus for obstruction.

Lirun said...

so last night my mum and i walked through the c o m p o u n d..

we entered in through the bridge gate right behind some english guy with a sean connery accent..

after opening the gate to me and my movie star looking mym - he suddenly heard the guard calling at us - the guard we pretended to ignore..

"you better ask permission.. security here is very strict"

"אתם גרים פה?!?!" asked the guard

"לא סתם באנו לטייל"

"אין בעיה"

and so we walked in..

"this place should be open to th epublic by court decree i hear" i threw at my mate "sean"..

"rubbish.."

"i heard that its not rubbish - it was a condition of development"

"none of the residents were happy about it!! and you wont be able to get out the other side because its LOCKED!"

"what can you do"

and my mother proceeded with a funny monolog:

"we are british!! we brought our sterlings pounds" we are the empire and we own you!! shweetheart" he both laughed..

the place is gorgeous - we had never been inside before..

as we left we needed to be buzzed out.. the gate isnt impressive - its an easy hop but it locks both ways..

to be honest as gorgeous as it is - it isnt built for foot traffic..

i can understand their concern.. the ground floor apartments are not designed to be exposed to non resident pedestrians and its not entirely fair to punish the residents for the developers error..

jurisprudentially they would be considered a community of bona fides innocent third parties..

but frankly.. its hard to feel sorry for them.. the place is really amazing..

i must add - its their loss..

you walk through hazerot yaffo by contrast and you see kids playing in the courtyard and people strolling and its so much more welcoming and communal and yet still looks so graceful..

as we left i yelled out to him:

"shukran ya habibi"..

he smiled at my funny accent in arabic..

yudit said...

I know the complex was marketed in an untruthful way, by suggesting to the potential buyers "there would be no Arabs inhere" and other fascist niceties. The company KNEW the project was to be open to the public, that was a CONDITION for receiving the permit to build something blocking the view.
If they lied to their buyers, well, their buyers can take them to court for the loss of the value of their property. I don't think they should get a prize for being deceiving bastards.
They have not constructed the public park either (which was also a condition for receiving the bulding permit).
They can hide behind the clause they were supposed to build that at the end of the construction and as they have not yet finished building everything, they can state they will do so "in the future some time".
But more than that, they received the permission to construct an additional 2 floors on TOP of the existing buildings as a "prize" for having to open the compound to the public.
They better do so....
First they are liars, then they do not fit in with the conditions, then for fitting in with the condisitions they receive a prize,but still do not allow people to enter.....

Lirun said...

the adjacent property is very run down.. im guessing that is where the park was to be built.. there is a touch of grass but its not great..

my thoughts..

a - impose a huge fine on the developer - like something substantial.. and require the adjacent property to be developed into a state of the art facility and also create additional facilities in the surrounds with that money..

b - suspend the developers license..

c - but - and dont get angry with me because this is my opinion - leave the place closed.. you dont punish people who bought their homes in good faith.. whether or not they have racist inclinations in your eyes.. its a municipal matter and not an international wartime event.. but thats just my view.. and i certainly believe that the developer deserves to be severely punished..

Perdix said...

Lirun, dude, I almost get the feeling you to be the Andromeda compound lawyer.

yudit said...

The park is to be developed at the eastern side of Andromeda, that is , close to Yefet street, where they currently have their sales building. In addition they are supposed to create 2 additional entrance (open to the public) at the northern and southern side.As to the paths being close to peoples bedrooms? Well that 's the standard in Ajami, where in many streets there aren't even sidewalks and cars park really close to peoples' rooms. They inhabitants wanted a true Jaffa experience no? Funny enough in the brochures about the project they wrote about the similarity to Jaffa old city. You have the same thing there...

As to the derelict part... you mean the deep archaeological dig left over, or the Maronite dwellings taken down 2 years ago (close to the harbor, they are NOT a part of Andromeda)?.

Lirun said...

the derelict part i was referring to is on the eastern side - it may well not be part of the site.. i think the sales building should go..

andromeda and the old city are not the only parts of yaffo that are yaffo - there are also many streets where people have the benefit of privacy and security..

as i said - i like the חצרות יפו model.. i like people of various walks of life sharing common facilities.. but i dont think the place has been designed that way.. and i dont think it makes sense to force it.. only because of the impact on the residents..

yudit.. you are normally the first to say that the law should be flexible to consider the amenity of the residents.. i think that just because people are affluent doesnt mean that they deserve to be punished for the errors of someone else..

nonetheless i do believe the development operation should be held accountable for any failure to comply with its permits..

architecturally i think the complex - while slightly grotesque - is actually quite impressive on the whole..

having said that the side street that accesses the port from the north is much more beautiful and i dont think anyone misses out on any great public amenity by not accessing the site..

Luke said...

Didn't Richard Nixon do law?