|By Michal Margalit, Globes, Tel Aviv,
IsraelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jul. 7, 2009--Tel Aviv's first hotel will be reopened as a boutique hotel, on the basis of a plan approved by the Tel Aviv Regional Planning and Building Commission. "Globes" obtained a copy of the plan. The new Urban Building Plan for the property includes renovation of the historic site and the addition of a new floor to the building and a separate five-storey wing.
The current two-storey building on Lilienblum Street in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood is in poor condition, dangerous, and therefore unoccupied. The new hotel will have 42 rooms and a ground-floor restaurant.
Appin Israel Ltd. initiated the project. Meira Mor is the architect, after winning a competition for the hotel by Appin. The preservation architect is Tal Eyal.
Mor said, "The hotel will be one of Tel Aviv's most prestigious hotels. Despite its size, it will have a luxury spa with a fitness room, hamam (Turkish bath), and treatment rooms in the basement. The hotel will also have a rooftop swimming pool with a sea view."
Menachem Alkunin built the hotel in 1913, a year after immigrating from Russia with his wife and six children. In 1917, during World War I, the Ottoman authorities expelled Tel Aviv's residents as General Allenby's British forces approached the town, and Alkunin moved to Safed. He returned to Tel Aviv in 1920 and reopened the hotel.
The hotel lost is prestige as Tel Aviv grew, and in 1931 it was converted into a cheap rooming house, and later a hostel for young workingmen. The Alkunin family owned the property until the 1980s.
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Copyright (c) 2009, Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel
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