Bringing in a Sea Change
Mumbai’s old buildings are giving way to swankier towers with a view
When Surabhi Patel, 42, an image consultant, decided to buy a home in Mumbai for her family of three, she insisted on one thing— the place should not be more than a 30- minute drive from her workplace. She did not have to hunt for too long. Worli, in central Mumbai, had several high- rises, and with a Rs 5 crore- budget, options were plenty. A year into the new home on the 24th floor of the new building, Patel is a happy person. “We have a fantastic view of the Arabian Sea from my balcony,” she says.
Worli is a premium housing address in the city, where traditional luxury housing hotspots stretch from south Mumbai to Bandra. Luxury homes here range from Rs 26,000 to Rs 60,000 per sq ft, depending on the developer and what they offer— central AC, gold leafing on walls, imported modular kitchens, home automation, designer plumbing and bath fittings. Some of the marquee buildings include The Park in Worli, and World One, also in Worli, which offers designs by Armani/ Casa in the yet- to- be launched Oberoi development.
Experts say the luxury housing segment in Mumbai holds enormous potential for the future. If one discounts the creaking infrastructure of Mumbai, luxury homes here offer the advantage of being close to office complexes, shopping malls, night clubs, top hospitals and schools. “Also, most buildings in south Mumbai are over 40 years old, and beyond a certain point, you can’t extend the life of an old building,” says Mudassir Zaidi, national director- residential, Knight Frank India, a property consultant. “In such a situation, a majority of the old buildings will be replaced by newer ones, thereby infusing fresh stock in the market.” However, the pace of such developments will depend on the macroeconomic scenario, he cautions.