Home News After a century, mystery owners of coveted Petah Tikva plot identified

After a century, mystery owners of coveted Petah Tikva plot identified

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The land, now in the heart of Petah Tikva, remained undeveloped for a century, as the owner of a small puzzle piece could not be found in the middle. The plot contains the remains of one of the city’s early wells, which was used for agriculture in the late 19th century.

The parcels of land are only 100 meters square (1,076 square feet) in size and are part of a larger area of ​​approximately 500 square meters (5,381 square feet) demarcated for housing development. Over time, many developers looked at the space and suggested plans, but couldn’t track ownership of the land, making the entire area unusable.

A few years ago, an experienced real estate developer in the city (who wants to remain anonymous) decided to pursue this issue. The potential of the site was so great that he decided to find and buy the owner of the missing piece.

The developers turned to Oz Shoshan. Modiin-based lawyer Someone who specializes in finding historic real estate owners.

Shoshan knew that many people in front of him tried to track down the owner of this but failed. plotBut he also believed that if he could start at the true beginnings of land development, he might stumble upon a clue.

Sharing this unique quest experience, Shoshan told The Times of Israel that he had begun an extensive research process to uncover the history of the early Peta Chikva settlements in the late 1870s.

“This meant going through numerous archives, including information on settlements and their development, as well as legal and genealogical studies,” he said.

Oz Shoshan, forensic real estate lawyer. (Courtesy / Bartzi Goldblat)

Petah Tikva was founded in 1878 and became a settlement in 1883. By 1906, when David Ben-Gurion worked in an orange grove for several months, it was a town of 1,000 people. But its true growth began under the British Mandate in the 1920s.

This seems to be when the wells in the city were dug, or at least when ownership was established.

“After spending a few months on forensic research, we found that the plot was owned by many people, not just one, each with a tiny stake in the land,” said Shoshan. I owned it. “He explained that the owner of the orange grove in the area was also a” well partner. “

From the 1920s to the 1930s, many of these farms changed hands. “More than 30 of these owners sold the orchards to other farmers, but they couldn’t (probably forgot) sell the shares of the well itself,” he said.

This explained some of the reasons why no one has succeeded in tracking ownership yet. But another problem arose.

“The entry to the Land Registry, which was originally in English, dating back to the British Mandate,” said Shoshan. ‘Names make it difficult to identify who they really are.And of course, there was no ID number [then] Or something similar that may be useful. ”

However, after he knew his name, Shoshan was able to attempt to track the Petah Tikva family in the original ownership document. Among them are Peta Chikva’s founders and key activists of the religious Zionist movement, Jedilia Babrik, and Hannock Slur’s son Benjamin (Bainish) Slur. It included several people who were deeply involved in the construction. A well-known Zionist activist and companion to Baron Edmond James Delos Child.

Original land registration entry for Petah Tikva’s agricultural wells (courtesy: Oz Shoshan)

With the apparent death of the original owner, Shoshan embarked on a difficult task of finding their living heirs to facilitate the transfer of ownership.

With so many co-owners in the first place, this meant identifying dozens of people who unknowingly inherited part of the land. Most of them lived outside Israel.

Shoshan finally identified families in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark, descendants of the second and third generations of the original owners of the land.

Negotiations to permit the purchase and development of land are currently underway and an agreement has been reached with the majority of heirs, Shoshan said.

When the process is complete, his role in this adventure ends. Shoshan told The Times of Israel that the developers he commissioned are aiming to advance housing development plans for the entire region, bridging the gap in the cityscape of Peta Chikva.

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