The decision to move the US Embassy may be a lucrative decision since the move means selling the Ambassador’s residence in Herzliya and moving to Jerusalem. The residence is listed for a record NIS 300 million, or a cool $87 million in US currency.
The neighborhood, Herzliya Pituach in Tel Aviv, has some of the most expensive real estate in Israel. The listing describes the 600 square meters (6,500 square feet) house it in a most enticing manner:
“A villa in Herzliya Pituach on a one dunam plot with a large swimming pool, a lawn, and mature trees. A two-story villa with high ceilings and spacious areas, impressive entrance foyer, the separation between the kitchen and dining area of the family, and the formal dining and entertaining area. There are two shaded sitting areas in the garden and a kitchenette for serving guests during spring/summer receptions. The villa is particularly suited for an ambassador or senior diplomat during their stay in Israel.”
“Additional features of the property: Entrance level tiled with French Imported Limestone floor tiles. Two-toned Parquet floor in the bedrooms. Under-floor heating throughout the villa. Staff accommodation, security cameras connected to security service, high standard tailor-made woodwork throughout the house, and special light fixtures. Separate dens/TV rooms for parents and children. Parking: For two cars in a closed garage”
The beachfront house located at 40 Galei Tchelet Street was built in the 1960s purchased by the US government in 1962. A kosher kitchen was installed in 2001 when Daniel Kurtzer was named ambassador.
Globes reported that given the current dynamic state of the Herzliya real estate market, it is believed that any buyer would be likely to demolish the home and rebuild. This is also due to the relatively poor and outdated state of the house’s interior. The house is on a 5,000 square meter lot in one of Israel’s most expensive streets, with a 2,000 square meter garden in the western part of the lot overlooking the Mediterranean.
The current record price for a private residence was set earlier this year when Roman Abramovich, a British-based Israeli-Russian billionaire businessman, paid NIS 226 ($64.5 million) nearby.
The US Ambassador, David Melech Friedman, currently lives in the former residence of the Jerusalem Consulate, which was merged into the Embassy. The move will most certainly be a welcome change for his personal life. Friedman is an Orthodox Jew and is fluent in Hebrew. Even before his appointment, Friedman owned a house in Jerusalem. Friedman’s daughter, Talia, immigrated to Israel and officially became an Israeli citizen in 2017.