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The 1970s building in Gilo will be replaced by a new neighborhood of 1,032 apartments.

The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee has approved for deposit a plan to demolish the Absorption Center in Gilo and replace it with 1,032 apartments in seven 25-30 floor high-rise residential towers and eight 8-12 floor buildings. The new development will also include public buildings, a kindergarten, synagogues and a commercial center.

The Absorption Center built in the 1970s and operated by by public housing company Amidar has 287 housing units spread over 25 acres. Over the years the new immigrant center with its four-floor terraced design, industrial concrete and prefabricated elements has been harshly criticized because of the poor quality of the housing and its maintenance. However, Jerusalem architectural historian David Kroyanker described the design by Aryeh and Eldar Sharon as "avant-garde" and Michael Yakobson as an "external casbah."

The new housing project has been designed by OKA Orit Willenberg Giladi and Keren Jedwab Architects and Town Planners.

Amidar chairman Kobi Amsalem said, "The land on which the old absorption center stands is crying out for urban renewal and I welcome the fact that after intensive efforts on both the planning and social level has today moved forward with this important step."


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