Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Construction minister Yoav Galant and Be'er Sheva Mayor Reuven Danilowitz, today (Tuesday), participated in the signing ceremony for the NIS 1.5 billion roof agreement to build, develop and market 20,000 residential units. This is the largest roof agreement that has ever been signed with a local authority and is expected to both strengthen metropolitan Be'er Sheva as a cyber capital and meet the housing needs – inter alia – resulting from the IDF's move to the Negev.
In the context of the agreement, approximately 20,000 residential units will be marketed by 2019. Approximately NIS 1.5 billion will be invested in infrastructures and public structures in the city. The municipality will also receive full financing to upgrade its main thoroughfare, Rager Boulevard. Budgets will also be invested in financing a stadium and rehabilitating the Old City.
Roof agreements are a "package deal" that local authorities receive from the government in order to facilitate the construction of schools, daycare centers, public institutions and infrastructures that will, in turn, aid in the marketing of residential units, while lifting bureaucratic impediments. In the framework of the aforesaid agreement, the state is due to provide the budgetary sources for developing new neighborhoods while the municipality takes upon itself the development itself. The new roof agreement ensures that the sources of financing will be at the disposal of the municipality during the marketing of the land.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said during the signing:
"Mr. Mayor, I am moved whenever I come to Be'er Sheva. I see the momentum of the development. First of all, we travel on expressways to get here and it is a pleasure. It reminds me and those of my generation, such as you Construction Minister, how we would chug along on the roads and now we are galloping. Unfortunately, I could not arrive by train as I would have liked but they are speeding along there as well. I welcome the momentum of the development under your leadership, in the city.
I would like to thank my colleagues, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for joining in the effort. He is a man of the north, center and south, and his help is important, his and that of Construction Minister Yoav Galant, his deputy Jackie Levy, and of course Adiel Shimron, Avigdor Yitzhaki and Eshel Hermoni.
This is a great day for Be'er Sheva, the Negev and the State of Israel.
My vision is simple – Be'er Sheva will have 500,000 people within 12 years. Today we are taking a giant step to fulfill this vision because we are signing the largest roof agreement in the history of the state. We are going to market 20,000 residential units. This is an addition of approximately 100,000 people by 2019. The money will not go to state coffers. The money will go back to infrastructures in Be'er Sheva. The money will go to upgrading infrastructures on Rager Boulevard and other highways in new neighborhoods, to a soccer stadium; please invite me. These are great things that will create a new reality here and which will continue the great development. This development will, of course, bring new people.
We are doing this in various ways. This vision is being realized along several avenues. First of all, there is one main avenue that I will return to again. This is turning Be'er Sheva into a global cyber capital. The biggest companies in the world in this field are coming to Be'er Sheva from overseas. I have seen something else – companies in Tel Aviv and Herzliya are opening offices in Be'er Sheva. This should tell you something.
Cyber is the first thing. The second is rapid transportation routes which you are seeing. Third, and no less important, is moving the IDF south. There have been impediments. I would like to thank Prime Minister's Office director General Eli Groner who has simply done heroic work along with the other director generals in order to open these impediments. This will bring very many people. In these 20,000 residential units I want to see many IDF personnel who will come down to Be'er Sheva. The IDF is moving south, the State of Israel is moving south, to Be'er Sheva and the Negev.
And of course, there is the major and ramified development being carried out in this city. I would like you to note what we are doing. We are turning Be'er Sheva into the vanguard of the development of the State of Israel. We are moving state's center of gravity to the Negev. This has been talked about for decades but we are doing it in practice with this multi-track plan that will meet the employment, business, housing and cultural needs of young people and new forces. I think that everyone feels the difference in the air. What we are doing here today is a great thing.
If we add 100,000 residents by 2019-2020, the next goal is an additional 200,000 people by 2027; this is completely realistic. Remember, 500,000 people in Be'er Sheva within 12 years. We will check this; it will happen. I told people once: Invest in Be'er Sheva. Buy in Be'er Sheva. Buy apartments in Be'er Sheva. Whoever listened to me gained. Now listen to me as well: 500,000 people in Be'er Sheva is a turning point for the State of Israel and the Negev. It will jumpstart every city in the Negev. It is simply a historic change that we are blessed with and it is receiving a great push today.
I would like to again thank all of my colleagues who really worked marvelously together here and this will begin to happen very soon. Congratulations to you, to Be'er Sheva, to the Negev and to the State of Israel."