Not long ago I posted a blog entry about the IDF selling land in central Tel Aviv, Hakirya district, to help finance the major move of all their operations to the Negev, Beer Sheva in particular.
Now according to Haaretz, Beer Sheva is set to be the site of a new high tech boom. Not long ago Benjamin Netanyahu promised that Be’er Sheva was destined to become “the cybercenter of the Western hemisphere.” One thing I learned from statements about development by the Israeli government is that if the government is supporting it, it will happen. Modiin and Rishon Lezion were slated nearly 20 years ago to become the largest and fastest growing new cities in Israel and now Modiin has become a highly desired location with real estate prices approaching a median of 1,600,000 for a standard 4 room apartment.
With the creation and expansion of a new high tech park there some software and cybersecurity giants have invested in Beer Sheva companies. Paypal recently announced in March it was buying the Israeli startup CyActive, a cyber security company out of Beer Sheva and entered Nasdaq last September.
Companies in the park include foreign and local firms such as Deutsche Telecom, RAD, Lockheed Martin, Ness technologies, Elbit Systems and EMC. The National Cyber Bureau, an agency created for the purpose of cyber security will also be housed there in a few months.
The biggest problem will be housing for expected newcomers. Housing starts were down last year, land has been released by the government for building. Pent up demand will force prices of existing housing up and with the cities new growth via high-tech and the army moving its operations there, a boom can be safely predicted.