April 19, 2019

In Tel Aviv, a New Way of ‘Neighboring’

““People who live in big cities go home at the end of the day to their loneliness. This is something we feel we can change.”

This, says general manager Nir Adan, is the lofty goal of Venn, a for-profit, community-focused, real estate development company reshaping the hip Shapira neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. It used to be home to some of the coastal city’s poorest residents, but has become a prime destination for young people seeking a more affordable option than the center’s high rental prices.

Shapira is a diverse neighborhood, home to religious communities, foreign workers, asylum seekers and, yes, a relatively recent wave of hipsters. And there is a measure of concern among Shapira residents of all stripes about the pace of gentrification and the perceived role Venn is playing in that.

After launching in Tel Aviv in 2015, the company has since also established itself in Brooklyn’s Bushwick and Berlin’s Friedrichshain neighborhoods. Like Shapira, these locations are hip, rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in global cities.

But Venn isn’t hemmed in by particulars. Further down the road, according to Lianne Pollak-David, VP of strategy and business development, Venn may try implementing its model in communities of different sizes and types across the world.”

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