Property Transformation: Gas Storage Tank to Trendy Apartment Building

The world is full of examples of the recycling of old buildings by changing their use into something else.  A recent article in Globes illustrates this very well. According to the article, frequently a factory was built on a city’s outskirts and with the growth of the city the factory became part of the center rather than the periphery.  This was never a good thing since the factory usually was a source of pollution and noise.  In addition to this, many industrial buildings became obsolete as technology developed.

In light of the above, many cities allow for such buildings to be rezoned by them to be used in another manner.  One example of this is the change of an old unused nuclear power plant in Dusseldorf, Germany into an amusement park.  Another is Vienna where four tanks previously used for the storage of gas were changed into trendy apartment buildings. In London an old jam factory was turned into an office building.

In Israel many such possibilities exist, however nothing ever seems to happen with these buildings.

The time it takes for the proper authorities to approve the change in zoning necessary for the reuse is so long that no construction company is willing to take the chance on such a project.  In other countries these types of buildings are put on a fast track of rezoning and planning permits.  Also, there are a series of rules set out in law by which an investor can know if his project will get approved so that he can know if it is worth his time and money.  In addition to this the rezoning can be approved quickly so that the investor does not have to wait for years before he can even begin construction.

In Israel this is not the case and there are no policies in place which would encourage such projects.  This means that many buildings that have become eyesores on the urban landscape remain as is.  Not only are they unsightly, they are also potential dangerspots. .  In addition, these buildings would supply an area with much needed residential or office space without the necessity to construct new infrastructure.