Modiin – The City of the Future Also Has a Past

An article in Globes from 29.11.1993 announced the construction of a new city to be built between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – Modi’in. The article predicted that by the year 2000 Modi’in would be a city of 250,000 residents. The city was to include residential as well as public and commercial buildings.

Well, where are we today?

Modi’in, which is often called the city of the future due to the modern way in which it was planned, was indeed built. There are approximately 80,000 residents living there today. The city boasts an Azrieli mall and office complex, city hall, theatre, strip mall, industrial center, two railroad stations, many parks and rising housing prices.

Most people agree that Modi’in is a success. Many people who purchased an apartment there at the very beginning made the deal of a  lifetime. Indeed, many who purchased an apartment in the city up until 2006 or 2007 very often doubled their investment and sometimes more.

Although the city still has many land reserves left, the construction of new apartment buildings has almost ground to a halt. This is due to the outcry of neighboring cities such as Ramle, Lod, Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh who witnessed the migration of many of their residents to Modi’in.

Instead of endeavoring to understand why their residents chose to leave them and rectifying the situation, these cities chose to blame all their ills on the new fledgling city of Modi’in.

Call it sibling rivalry. However, one would expect the “parent” here (the Ministry of Housing) to act responsibly. Instead, the government decided to halt the construction of new neighborhoods in Modi’in, only allowing for the completion of existing ones. The result  is a halting (at least for now) of the development of Modi’in and an increase in apartment prices.