The announcement has the real estate industry buzzing with excitement. “These are exclusive properties and bound to generate interest; the sale will give an indication of market sentiments in South Mumbai,” said the managing director of a global real estate firm, warning nevertheless that “one cannot benchmark the sale prices as ones persisting in the area”.
The two properties are bound to generate interest from buyers living abroad, said Aniruddh Wahal, director, DTZ, the real estate consultants who took out the advertisement on behalf of the consulate. “But then they will be bound by foreign direct investment norms.”
Lincoln House, spread across two acres, was formerly known as Wankaner Palace. Constructed in 1938 by the Maharaja of Wankaner (central Gujarat), the sprawling grade II heritage building offers an unrestricted view of the Arabian Sea. At present, it houses the office of the consulate general (the consulate’s principal officer), a consular section (an economic and political wing) and a management office. The property, estimated to be worth Rs 600 crore, “is an ideal location for a hotel”, said an experienced realtor. “A successful bidder could get a floor space index of up to 3, as Coastal Regulation Zone rules have been relaxed.”
Another realtor said that even before Lincoln House hit the market, 10-15 cash-rich corporate houses and individuals like Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani had privately voiced interest in it.
Washington House, home to senior consulate officials, is built on a little over half an acre and is estimated to be worth Rs 300 crore.
The US currently maintains residences and offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. It owns 38% of 340 residences; its offices number 25. The US embassy and the consulates pay rent of over Rs 20 crore per year.
A property expert said the Mumbai consulate’s decision is part of plans announced three years ago. The consulate’s new address at BKC is an integrated complex to house all its offices. A consulate official said it will provide better security and also facilitate better coordination of operations for the Western region, which in consular terms covers Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Goa.
Possible candidate for sale American Center At New Marine Lines, near the income tax office at Churchgate Built on about 3.5 acres Estimated worth is 350 crore Houses offices of the foreign commercial service (promotes US exports and trade), the food and drug administration, the public affairs section and the US-India Educational Foundation (manages the Fulbright-Nehru fellowship) Lincoln House On Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy Built on about 2 acres Is a grade II heritage mansion Estimated worth is 600 crore Formerly known as Wankaner Palace Constructed in 1938 by the Maharaja of Wankaner (central Gujarat) Offers an unrestricted view of the Arabian Sea.
Houses the office of the consul general (the consulate’s principal officer), a consular section (an economic and political wing) and a management office Washington House On Altamont Road
Built on a little over 0.5 acres Is a three-storey building Estimated worth is 300 crore Is home to senior consulate officials.
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