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  • Writer's pictureGedaliah Borvick

Distinctive Properties: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

The Hasten House (Jordan Polevoy)

Over the years, we have helped hundreds of families fulfill their dreams of purchasing a home in Israel. 99% of the time, we assist clients in purchasing or selling “traditional” homes that reflect the general housing stock in the neighborhood.

However, sometimes a unique property becomes available for sale, which requires much thought and creativity to craft the most appropriate marketing program. The first step is determining the highest and best use of the property. The answer to that question guides the marketing team in establishing the profile of the target purchaser which, in turn, helps them promote the property to the right population segment and identify the ultimate buyer. Such a situation recently arose when we were approached to sell the magnificent Hasten House on Uziel Street in Bayit Vegan, the only mansion in the entire neighborhood.

The owner and builder, Dr. Mark Hasten, has led a fascinating life. He fought with the Polish Brigade against the Nazis in World War II, participated in the liberation of the Majdanek Concentration Camp, and then joined the IDF and participated in Israel’s War of Independence. Hasten then moved to the United States where he was a highly successful businessman and a philanthropic giant, and has spent the majority of his life championing educational institutions worldwide, culminating in his current role as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Touro College and University System.

Thirty years ago, Dr. Hasten built a stately 5-story 16-room villa comprised of over 900 square meters including balconies. The building’s layout encompasses an extraordinary duplex unit plus two additional apartments for use by other relatives. In addition, the property contains several private landscaped areas, providing its residents an oasis of privacy and tranquility. Hasten’s meticulous eye for detail can be seen in the structure’s many significant architectural touches, and the building was constructed on such an advanced level that it remains in pristine condition today, twenty five years after it was completed.

Over the past quarter century, Bayit Vegan’s demographics have evolved, having attracted many religious buyers from overseas. Accordingly, it will be interesting to see how this population shift affects the marketing program and what entity purchases this stunning property. It is quite possible that an affluent multi-generational family – probably from France or South America – acquires this grand architectural villa. Alternatively, we would not be surprised if an institution purchases this property to house its educational facilities and administrative offices, along with a residential unit for the rabbinic dean. A nice bonus for the buyer is that, along with the exquisite building, the property offers an additional 400 to 650 sqm of potential development rights.

Having sold other distinctive properties over the years, such as the historical Baron de Rothschild House in Rechavia, we have learned that these exceptional properties tend to attract unique purchasers. We are excited to see what type of entity will be the fortunate purchaser of this remarkable property.


Gedaliah Borvick is the founder of My Israel Home (, a real estate agency focused on helping people from abroad buy and sell homes in Israel. To sign up for his monthly market updates, contact him at

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