In august company
With former Delhi chief minister moving to a plush apartment on Feroze Shah Road, we take a quick tour of the neighbourhood
There is a sense of heightened activity at 22, Feroze Shah Road. A st eady stream of cars leave the building every now and then; a group of important-looking men speak in hushed tones near the gate. It’s perhaps because the address now has a new high-profile tenant: Sheila Dikshit, former chief minister of Delhi.
B u t t h e n , S i l ve r A r c h Apartments where Dikshit has moved in has always been home to bureaucrats, politicians and top corporate leaders. It may look insignificant from the outside, except for its green cover, but the apartments are spacious (2,000 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft) and are said to offer sweeping views of central Delhi. Of course, they do not come cheap. The rentals here are anywhere between ` 1.75 lakh and ` 2.5 lakh, and if you plan to buy an apartment here, be ready to shell out a whopping ` 10 crore or more. Dikshit has signed an 11-month rental agreement for a 2,000 sq ft three bedroom flat on the fifth floor of this building, sources say. The building has a total of six floors and about 48 three-bedroom units. The apartment complex, which is right next to the Russian Centre of Science And Culture, was constructed around 20 years ago, and it falls in the Lutyens Bungalow Zone (LBZ).
There are other plush apartment blocks in the neighbourhood too. In close proximity are Girdhar, Diwan Sree and Adhishwar apartments where a lot of VIPs reside. As Atul Mishra, a real estate agent specialising in central Delhi, points out, “This part of the city has a very niche buyer profile. For instance, one of LK Advani’s daughters lives in a 4BHK unit in Diwan Sree, while the CEO of GMR also lives in an apartment on this road. Quite a few MPs also live in swanky apartments and penthouses on Feroze Shah Road.While rentals in any of these buildings range from ` 1.5 lakh to ` 3 lakh, capital prices are around ` 12 crore approximately for a 2,500 sq ft 3 BHK space.”
Neighbouring Hailey Road, too, is lined with independent houses and luxury apartments. Tata Housing, which bought a bungalow located on a one-acre plot last year for over ` 200 crore, plans to develop luxury apartments here, says a broker. “With the LBZ guidelines preventing any new construction in the Lutyens Zone, the only form of residential real estate activity permitted in this region is reconstruction (by demolishing bungalows/buildings on a plot) or renovation of existing structures, after acquiring relevant permissions from authorities. The FAR permitted here is 20, so only low-rise buildings can come up here. However, there is speculation that DDA (Delhi Development Authority) might shrink the LBZ, paving the way for high-rise buildings in areas such as Golf Links and Bengali Market,” he adds.
Kasturba Gandhi (KG) Marg, perpendicular to Feroze Shah Road, is characterised by independent houses on one- acre plots. It is a saturated market with mainly old or government apartments, and the average price here would be in the range of around ` 40,000 to ` 45,000 per sq ft. “The buyer profile at KG Marg is super high net-worth individuals (HNIs). You would find CXO- level executives of leading global organisations and business tycoons — both as current occupiers and potential buyers,” says Santhosh Kumar, CEO, Jones Lang LaSalle India. Thanks to its location and profile, this area has also seen some of the most expensive transactions in the city of late. As Kumar points out, “The last transaction that happened in this belt was of 12 KG Marg. The transaction value on average for any sale or purchase in this zone would be in the range of ` 100crore to ` 200 crore.”