French-Israeli businessman Laurent Levy is expanding his presence in the hotel industry. Levy bought up 25 acres of land to develop between 800 and 1,000 guestrooms in Migdal, Israel on Lake Kinneret.
Levy plans to develop one third of the area's planned 3,000 guestrooms on his own. As part of the investment, which is worth hundreds of millions of shekels, Levy is in talks with Israel's Tourism Ministry to construct a 600-room vacation village. The businessman is also rumored to be negotiating with Club Med International to construct an additional vacation village on the lot.
The Migdal shore has two hotels under construction, which are slated to open this year. Ark New Gate is developing the 150-room Magdala Hotel while Avihu Tal is developing the 200-room Sea of Galilee hotel. The Tourism Ministry granted the two developers a 20-percent investment of NIS15 million to construct the hotels.
Private landowners own the rest of the land. Although Levy owns a large portion of these hotel rights, the Jerusalem Post says Levy is in talks with each landowner. He’s also negotiating with the ministry for a reimbursement on this investment.
Israel Amrosi, head of the Migdal Local Council, told the Jerusalem Post that the hotel development on the Migdal shore transformed it into a tourist area in Galilee. "We are now paving a NIS20 million road that will connect all the planned hotels. We believe that in addition to Levy, addition owners of lots along the shore will utilize the building rights,” Amrosi said in a statement.
Levy made his first steps in the capital city's investment market when he purchased numerous apartments in Jerusalem’s most expensive areas. He is not only an investor, but also a trained optometrist and the founder and CEO of the Optical Center chain in Europe and Jerusalem.