As part of the development of the old City as an international tourist city, the Old Acre Development Company Ltd. is working on projects in the areas of accommodation, tourism and travel routes.
According to the development plans, the following is the list of projects which were designated for immediate development and marketing and those to be marketed at a later stage.
Projects designated for immediate marketing
1. Entrance to Old Acre (the Enchanted Garden)
This is the entrance courtyard to the Fortress. To the north lies the tower building and to the south, the offices of the Acre Development Company and facilities serving the Acre Theater Center.
The open space is impressive in its rich greenery and the sense of hospitality it exudes, which is why it was converted into the entrance to the Knights' Halls and the Fortress. A Visitors and Reservations Center for Acre, the Western Galilee and the Upper Galilee was set up in the courtyard. The plan for this year is to use the various areas of the courtyard as a restaurant, a book and map store, a currency exchange counter, a cafeteria and a large public restroom.
Another floor will also be added to the Acre Development Company building and the ground floor will be converted for commercial use.
2. Khan a-Shawarda
This is Acre's largest khan and one of its most elegant. It is located between the commercial area and the port. Its eastern façade is adjacent to the sea and is part of the sea wall. Thanks to its location, it overlooks the entire bay and enjoys the benefit of potential access to the sea. The lower floor is designed to serve as a commercial facility; a modern addendum to be built above the historical floor will be used as the site for a small hotel with a capacity of at most 60 rooms.
3. The Bustan Cinema
This is the site for the Bustan, a unique summertime cinema located at the entrance to the city, near the land gate. The complex's façade overlooks the seashore and the Old Acre port. Below this site, there is a commercial area facing Salah a-Din Street, the Old City's main commercial street.
A small hotel with a capacity of at most 60 rooms is in the planning stages for this site.
4. Khan al-Umdan and Khan al-Shuna
These two khans are among the most important buildings in Old Acre. Preservation work was completed on a portion of Khan al-Umdan, an elegant Ottoman building. One of its façades faces the marina and the other one, Fishermen's Square. The adjacent Khan al-Shuna boasts authentic elements dating back to the Crusader Period.
These two khans are to be part of a large 170-room hotel whose ground floors will be reserved for commercial and public use. This hotel promises to be uniquely attractive.
5. The Small Hamam (Bath House)
This is a single story Ottoman building covering an area of approximately 600 square meters that served as an active bathhouse until the seventies. Part of the building is now in ruins and not in use. The structure is located north of Khan a-Shuni, which is to serve as a hotel.
The building will serve its original purpose as a bathhouse and will be instrumental in reviving the bathhouse tradition that once thrived in Israel and has faded since. It may be worth considering the introduction of a functional aspect in the form of a café, galleries and so forth.
The small hamam went out to tender as part of the tender for a hotel at Khan al-Umdan and Khan al-Shuna.
Once marketing for the projects designated for immediate marketing has been completed, the Company will start to plan other marketing and development projects, as per the following breakdown:
1. The Rotary Halls
This is a centrally located Crusader structure with impressive domes facing Pisan Port and south of Chan al-Umdan. The building is designed to serve commercial purposes. The domed area on both levels may be used to facilitate public passage along the alley from Pisa Square to the north to Tzalach Batzri Street.
2. The Southern Anchor
This complex is located north of the Wall Promenade, between the Pisan Port in the east and St. John's Church in the west. It spreads over an area of some 1,000 square meters and it is centrally located from a tourism aspect since it overlooks the sea to the north. Thanks to its location and character, the complex is naturally designed to serve as a tourist site offering a small hotel and commercial grounds.
3. Borj el-Corayim
Borj el-Corayim, the most fortified among the Sea Wall towers, is located at the northwestern corner of the city. It is 11 meters above sea level and spreads over an area of about 730 square meters. The borj boasts a beautiful view both to the north, toward Rosh Hanikra and to the south, along the wall and the Carmel mountain range. Thanks to its strategic location and spectacular view, the site will serve tourism purposes, e.g. restaurant, conference center and so forth.
4. Site 54
This is a vaulted Crusader building south of the covered bazaar. Part of the building is subterranean and the roof is vacant. Thanks to the impressive spaces and convenient accessibility, the building may be earmarked for commercial and tourist purposes – approximately 1,000 sq. m. + roof.
5. The Oil Press (the former olive and soap factory)
This oil press, which is located on the Palace's ground floor, is designed to serve as a small hotel, along with the upper floor of WIZO House. The ground floor section of the oil press covers approximately 600 square meters and its impressive domes create nine open spaces. Potential purposes: commerce, restaurant and lobby for the small hotel above it. Designated to be a wine cellar.
6. The Laguna Hotel
This is an open and vacant area in the southwestern section of the city. A project file has been prepared for this area, proposing the construction of a 170-room hotel and an underground parking lot. In the past, it served as a Templars fortress, remnants of which were still visible during the Crusader Period. It is positioned on a rock and the alcoves still remaining on the shore served as guard rooms. A special planning, specific urban building plan needs to be submitted as part of the new outline plan.
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