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Aaronson house, Zichron Yaacov
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.

House in Zichron Yaacov
Photo by Rhonda Spivak.


By Rhonda Spivak, September 8, 2010

Winnipeg lawyer Howard Tennenhouse has recently gone into partnership with Ms. Annabelle Almagor of Israel, an experienced realtor and former executive assistant to President Shimon Peres and late President Ezer Weizman, to establish Habitat, a boutique real estate company in Zichron Yaacov.

“We specialize in catering to the needs of each client and we would be pleased to assist anyone in Canada considering investing in a home or other Israeli real estate,” says Tennenhouse, who notes that climbing Israeli real estate values make for attractive investment opportunities.

Tennenhouse told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that he has been buying real estate in Israel since 2004.

“I first bought a property in Zichron Yaacov, (situated some 50 km north of Tel Aviv).  With its vineyards and natural beauty it is considered to be the Napa Valley of Israel.  From there I started on a small scale buying apartments.  I then expanded elsewhere such as Ashdod, Binyamina and Eilat.  In 2010 I decided I needed a challenge and went into property development.  My passion is real estate and in particular, I love the excitement of creating something from nothing.”

Tennenhouse explains that Almagor was his real estate agent and with her help has now assembled a very solid team which includes an architect, contractor and project manager.

“Everyone in the team, aside from myself, has known each other for a long time and as a result we have a very good working relationship and consider ourselves to be a family,” says Tennenhouse who travels to Israel three to four times a year.

“My first development project is in Jaffa, in Tel Aviv, where I am building luxury condominiums right near the newly reconstructed Jaffa port.  Habitat is marketing these condos which will have a panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea.  I chose Jaffa because of the great location and the hottest real estate market in Israel,” he says.

“In considering possible projects, rule number one is if we don’t have fun, we don’t do it.  Our primary objective is to build environmentally friendly green buildings and we try to provide work for Israelis and new immigrants,” he added.

Tennenhouse says that his partner, Almagor, comes from a family that was “very influential” in the Labour party.

“Her father was friends with Ben-Gurion and she remembers as a child being hushed out of the living room by Golda Meir.  She is on a first name basis with many current members of the Knesset,” he says.

After 1967, when Israel obtained control of the Sinai, “Almagor’s father founded a settlement in 1970 in the Sinai and her brother became the first Jewish child born in the Sinai in 2000 years.”

Tennenhouse who was in Israel this summer says that he has enjoyed working with many developers including two young Haredim (ultra-orthodox Jews) involved in the demolition of over 180 apartments in order that they be rebuilt.  This is part of Israel’s plan to renovate and rebuild older properties throughout the country.  Also Tennenhouse and Almagor are now involved in the development and marketing of $100 million dollar luxury apartments.

Commercial subleasing is another aspect of Habitat’s work.  They are currently involved in relocating Turkish workers drilling for gasoline.  They’ve been hired by an American oil company and “unfortunately Israelis have no experience in oil exploration.”  This work goes on notwithstanding the political tensions between the two countries after the flotilla.

Anyone wanting to inquire about investing in a home or other real estate opportunities in Israel can contact Howard Tennenhouse at (204) 895-3645 or (204) 355-7771.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.