Kingfisher Towers project has 81 apartments of about 8,000 sq.ft each and a 40,000 sq.ft mansion-style penthouse for Vijay Mallya's personal use
Bengaluru: Homes in Kingfisher Towers, the most expensive residential address in Bengaluru, will be handed over to its high-profile buyers this year, even as United Breweries Holdings Ltd’s (UBHL) share of apartments remain largely unsold.
The under-construction project has 81 apartments of about 8,000 sq. ft each and a 40,000 sq. ft mansion-style penthouse for UBHL chairman Vijay Mallya’s personal use.
The skyscraper is being developed as an extension of UB City, the luxury retail and office space built by a joint venture between UBHL and Prestige Estates Projects Ltd. UBHL owns 55% and the developer 45%. Prestige is also constructing the building.
The project is being built on a plot of land that was the site of Mallya’s ancestral home.
“We have sold 34 apartments from our share and have held back a few units which we intend to sell at a better price later, when it’s ready and shining. We plan to deliver the project by the end of the year," said Prestige Estates’ chairman Irfan Razack. The last sale was for around ₹ 24 crore.
UBHL sold seven flats for a little over ₹ 150 crore, according to the company’s 2015 annual report. The sales were probably completed in 2012 and 2013. Since 2014, UBHL has been barred from selling the flats.
One of the first winding-up petitions against UBHL was filed in 2012 by creditors seeking dues from Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. Mallya used UBHL as the holding company for almost all his other businesses.
The result of the petition was a restriction on the sale of any properties by UBHL. A division bench of the Karnataka high court issued an order to this effect on 20 December 2013.
“UBHL was barred from selling any more units in Kingfisher Towers in 2014," said a person familiar with the development who asked not to be identified. Worse, this person added, UBHL had not had much luck with sales even before that—it was seeking a higher price than Prestige was.
UBHL wants to be allowed to sell some of the apartments. This case will likely be heard along with the other winding-up petitions against the company on 20 June.
A UBHL spokesperson declined to comment.
“While demand for luxury homes is there to some extent, it is mainly in the ₹ 4-10 crore category, where most of the luxury projects in the city are being built. Kingfisher Towers is a unique project for its location, design and construction and large-sized homes, and its buyers are investors, end-users and CEOs," said Juggy Marwaha, managing director-south, JLL India, a property advisory.
UB City, also developed by a partnership between UBHL and Prestige Estates, is the most expensive office space in the city, with lease rates touching ₹ 130-150 per sq ft. However, nearly 50,000-60,000 sq. ft is vacant as the court has barred UBHL from renewing leases or signing fresh ones.
The Indian government is trying to bring back Vijay Mallya from Britain to face charges including diversion of funds and money laundering. Creditors led by State Bank of India are seeking repayment of over ₹ 9,400 crore owed to them by Kingfisher Airlines, grounded in 2012.
On 2 March, Mallya left for Britain as the lenders closed in on him. The government has since revoked Mallya’s passport.
Mallya’s departure came days before State Bank of India moved the Debt Recovery Tribunal in Bengaluru seeking his arrest.
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