Mumbai: The Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai, built on marsh land and bound by the suburbs of Kurla in the east and Bandra in the west, was planned as an alternative financial hub to Nariman Point. It’s now home to the biggest companies in the business. Now, their bosses are planning to buy homes in the neighbourhood.
Look who might be moving there soon—Gunit Chadha, co-chief executive officer, or CEO, (Asia Pacific) of Deutsche Bank AG; former Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit; Nimesh Kampani, chairman and managing director (CMD) of financial services group JM Financial Ltd; and Ashok Wadhwa, group CEO of financial services firm Ambit Holdings Pvt. Ltd. They are among those who have bought luxury homes for Rs.30 crore and upwards in Signature Island, a project in BKC being developed by Piramal Sunteck Realty Pvt. Ltd, according to three people familiar with the development who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The project is on 370 hectares of once low-lying land bound by the Mithi river, the Vakola Nalla and the Mahim Creek.
Others said to have bought homes there are Gautam Adani, head of the Adani Group; Harsh Mariwala, CMD of consumer products and services company Marico Ltd; and Ashwin Dani, non-executive vice-chairman of India’s largest paint company Asian Paints (India) Ltd.
Among the banks and financial institutions that have offices in the district are ICICI Bank Ltd, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Citibank NA, most of which have relocated from south Mumbai.
Piramal Sunteck Realty is a joint venture between Mumbai-based Sunteck Realty Ltd and Piramal Enterprises Ltd, promoted by the Ajay Piramal group. The only residential development in BKC now, Signature Island is close to the Trident and Sofitel five-star hotels, the American School of Bombay and the Dhirubhai Ambani International School.
“The price of each duplex can range between Rs.32 crore and Rs.52 crore and there are 70 units planned. The size of each unit can vary between 7,000 and 11,000 sq. ft,” said one of the persons cited above. According to the Signature Island brochure, around 263,000 sq. ft with an aggregate sales value of Rs.831 crore has been sold. The company has collected Rs.548 crore so far, according to the brochure.
Construction, which started in March 2009, is expected to finish in August. Features include lifestyle concierge services by Vertu, originally a Nokia unit which built expensive mobile phones that it sold last year, apart from the usual amenities associated with such residences.
“As this project is meant for ultra-rich people, we have brought in Vertu for concierge services and (Mumbai-based) Talati and Panthaky for architecture. As the customers have widely travelled, their tastes are different. We provide them shell units so that they can redesign the interiors with their own choice of experts,” said an employee of Sunteck Realty who did not want to be identified.
A Sunteck Realty spokesperson declined to comment.
Emails sent to Kampani, Dani, Adani and Wadhwa did not elicit any response. A text message sent to Mariwala went unanswered. A Deutsche Bank spokesperson declined to comment on Chhada’s purchase since it’s in his personal capacity. Pandit could not be reached.
Other Mumbai projects by Talati and Panthaky Associated include the redesign of the Mumbai airport domestic terminal, the corporate offices of Reliance Industries Ltd and the Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Worli.
There are luxury residential projects coming up close to BKC. Piramal Sunteck Realty has two projects close to Signature Island—Signia Isles and Signia Pearl, which are expected to be completed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The price—Rs.20-25 crore.
In Bandra (East), Mumbai-based Rustomjee group is scheduled to complete its Oriana project by 2015 at Rs.6.5-10 crore.
Another developer, Hubtown Ltd (formerly known as Ackruti City Ltd), is constructing luxury residence, Hubtown Sunstone, at around Rs.25,000 per sq. ft. That works out to around Rs.12.5 crore for a 5,000 sq. ft apartment.
“Residential property rates in BKC stand at Rs.40,000-45,000 per sq. ft. In the immediate neighbourhood of Bandra (East), rates range from Rs.25,000-30,000 per sq. ft. These residential rates used to be Rs.15,000-20,000 per sq. ft at BKC and Rs.12,000-15,000 per sq. ft outside BKC four years back,” said Ramesh Nair, managing director (west) at Jones Lang LaSalle, which specializes in real estate services.
Apart from the headquarters and regional offices of many banks, BKC also houses the Securities and Exchange Board of India, National Stock Exchange, Small Industries Development Bank of India, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd and Infrastructure Development Finance Corp. Ltd. BKC is also home of a diamond bourse, the US consulate and the Mumbai Cricket Association’s ground.