MUMBAI: In the biggest residential property transaction in the country, DMart founder Radhakishan Damani and his brother Gopikishan have purchased a bungalow property at Narayan Dabholkar Road in south Mumbai for a record Rs 1,001 crore.
Property market sources said the bungalow, Madhu Kunj, is located on prime 1.5-acre land with a built-up area of more than 60,000 square feet in tony Malabar Hill.
“The ground-plus-one storey bungalow is built in the Art Deco style and could be at least 90 years old. It has heritage features,” said a local resident. It has an open terrace and a large compound.
Damani paid stamp duty of Rs 30 crore for the property, which was purchased last month, according to real estate market sources. It is not known if the new owner plans to redevelop the property and build a tower like many plot buyers have done in the past in this area.
TOI has learnt the property belonged to the Premchand Roychand family of Mumbai. “It is one of the old established mercantile families of the city, whose ancestors built the Venetian Gothic Rajabai Clock Tower at Fort in the mid-19thcentury,” said a person who knows the family.
The bungalow is situated at the corner of Narayan Dabholkar Road, one of the most exclusive and expensive residential enclaves in south Mumbai, where apartments command a price of Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000 and more per square foot depending on the building. The VIP neighbourhood also has several bungalows such as Shivgiri, Ramtek and Meghdoot.
A property market source, not wishing to be identified, said of Damani: “He is one of India’s smartest investor minds and has been investing big time into real estate. Just recently, he purchased an eight-acre plot in Thane for Rs 250 crore.’’
The source said why Damani might have paid such a jaw-dropping price, especially when land rates in Malabar Hill are around Rs 400 crore per acre: “There is some element of capital gains planning since he has made a lot of gain in equity, which can be reinvested tax-free into one residential house. He is bullish on land appreciation in future years.”
Gulam Zia, ED, Knight Frank India, said, “The trend of picking up prized properties for an exclusive residential address in South Mumbai by the Indian ultra-high net worth individuals is prevailing for a long time. The Ambani’s, the Piramal’s, the Singhania’s have all in recent times added to the skyline of Mumbai. This seems to be one more such addition.”
In 2015, the Poonawallas, Cyrus and son Adar of Serum Institute of India, bid Rs 750 crore for Lincoln House, the former US consulate property at Breach Candy in south Mumbai. They were unable to take possession of the property, though, after the defence estates department stalled the deal.
In 2014, the Godrej family bought Homi Bhabha’s iconic bungalow, Meherangir, at Malabar Hill for Rs 372 crore.