Disgraced Diamantaire's Glittering Home By The Sea

Thursday 15th March, 2018

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Samudra Mahal in South Mumbai is one of the most coveted addresses in the city. And as the name suggests, you need to pay a king's ransom to own property here
Mahal was for ?18.5 crore in 2016, much less than the previous sale of an apartment bought by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani for ?22.5 crore (this was considered higher than the market rate at the time). Nilekani's friend and co-founder NR Narayana Murthy also has an apartment in the building. In 2013, according to reports, glassware maker Borosil bought a duplex for around ?43 crore (about ?1.18 lakh per sq ft). Despite the high demand for Samudra Mahal, in comparison to other trophy south Mumbai properties, the prices have largely remained steady the last few years, said a some real estate firms. Some of the others who reportedly own properties there include Yes Bank's Rana Kapoor, and Ashok Advani and Siddharth Yog of Xander Group. There are also companies that have guest houses in the premises, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Bank of India, L&T, CEAT, ITC, Sterlite Industries (which owns a bungalow in the premises), and Omega Investment & Properties.
If the buying rate is so high, rentals won't come cheap. A 3-BHK spread across 1,780 sq feet would cost ?4 lakh per month, according to a real estate agent, who facilitated such a transaction recently#
rashmi.menon @timesgroup.com
Like diamonds, the
sea-facing multi-storey Samudra Mahal in upscale Worli, Mumbai has often shone in the spotlight, making news either for its high-profile residents or the price its apartments command. However, the current focus has been courtesy one specific resident billionaire jewellery designer Nirav Modi ? because of whom the banking sector and the government are grappling with a ?11,400 crore fraud. Modi owns multiple apartments in the iconic building with his wife Ami Modi. According to one resident, the transaction of at least one property deal took place between 2006-07. The properties are valued at ?900 crore, as per news reports.
The numbers game
Coveted by corporates and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNIs), rarely does an apartment in the 30-storey single tower with two wings come up for sale. Even if one does come up, it gets sold even before it hits the market. "Generally, a sale of property in Samudra Mahal is initiated and completed in a closed circle of HNI investors and residents, and there is never any overt buzz created around it unless the buyer wishes it and/ or the media gets to know of such a sale from other sources," said Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK property consultants.
Samudra Mahal was
owned by Gwalior's royal family, the Scindias, and was sold in the early 1960s. At the time, Samudra Mahal was actually a large bungalow. The property, which comprises 3 BHKS, duplexes and triplexes and a bungalow, commands a price in the range of ?1.1 to ?1.2 lakh per sqfoot.
According to a real estate agent, the last property that was sold in Samudra