As the Tel Aviv-Jaffa metropolis has grown, it has embraced the town of Bat Yam, located on the Mediterranean coast just south of Jaffa, transforming it into an affordable extension of Tel Aviv.
Bat Yam has undergone a dramatic urban renewal project, putting it on the map as an exciting new coastal resort for tourists and retirees, and also an attractive residential suburb for families looking for better value for money and a short commute to Tel Aviv. It already has an excellent transport infrastructure, with two stations on the Tel Aviv-Rishon LeZion train route, and it will also have a terminus for the planned Tel Aviv Light Railway. Bus routes connect Bat Yam with Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion and Holon, Ramat Gan, Giv’atayim, Bnei Brak, Tel HaShomer Hospital and Bar Ilan University, as well as Ben Gurion Airport and Jerusalem.
Currently Bat Yam has a population of 160,000 people, of whom 45% were immigrants from the former Soviet Union, which gave the town a 2nd-rate reputation. However, massive investment and a public relations campaign have helped to improve the appearance and perceptions of the city, by upgrading its educational institutions, public spaces and cultural infrastructure.
To attract investors, developers are describing Bat Yam as “the New Israeli Riviera”. It has 6 beaches and a 3.2 km (2 mile) long promenade along the ocean, lined with pubs and restaurants, that connects with the Tel Aviv boardwalk. Its coastal strip is being developed for tourism, with its focus on the area known as “Gan HaIr” – the Garden of the City – just 300 meters from the beach.
Three major hotels are under construction, together with a seafront promenade and park to host outdoor cultural activities, and a number of luxury high rise apartment buildings. For example, the Hof Bat Yam project in Gan HaIr is being built by Azorim, one of the largest Israeli public development companies, with 165 units due for completion by December 2016.
All this corporate investment is designed to attract new and wealthy populations, and will likely lead to increases in property prices. Prime Property Israel is recommending Bat Yam as an up-and-coming coastal resort – the next South Netanya – and an excellent opportunity for private investors.