A suburban developer has paid a record price of Rs 350 crore for a Nepean Sea bungalowproperty. Runwal Group, which has projects largely in the eastern suburbs, bought Nepean Grange , the two-storey bungalow constructed in 1918, from the Kapadia family. The transaction was finally concluded a few days ago after months of negotiations, TOI has learnt. Property sources said this could probably be the highest price paid for a bungalow in the city. The 2,048 sq m land also has an outhouse, servants’ quarters and a car park.
The half-acre property, which falls under the coastal regulation zone II, was on the block for two years and the developer had to deal with nine joint owners of the Kapadia family. The owners settled the deal for Rs 270 crore. However, the bungalow also housed a tenant, the Lilani family, who demanded Rs 80 crore from Runwals to vacate the property.
The new owners of Nepean Grange will compensate the tenant who currently occupies about 4,800 sq ft of the 28,000 sq ft bungalow. The bungalow is located close to the Kilachand House, which too is on the block.
The Runwals will demolish Nepean Grange and build a high-end residential tower on the land. The Piramals, ABG Shipyard and Orbit Group were some of the other contenders for this property.
Last year, an old bungalow property called Villa Nirmala in the residential enclave of Carmichael Road in south Mumbai was bought for around Rs 300 crore by Peninsula Landpart of the Ashok Piramal Group and developer Khemchand Kothari. The transaction involved a payment of Rs 240 crore, plus 15,000 sq ft of space for the occupants of the bungalow once it was redeveloped . The structure, which occupies about half an acre and has a garden at the back, will make way for a high-rise .
Bungalows with heritage value have been falling to developers like nine pins over the past decade. Some of the most beautiful ones are located on Nepean Sea Road and Altamount /Carmichael Roads in south Mumbai.
In 2004, the Cama family of Mumbai Samachar sold its sprawling bungalow, Cosy Corner, behind Elizabeth Nursing Home (off Nepean Sea Road) for Rs 108 crore to the Satellite Group. The two-storeyed Cama bungalow, constructed in the 1920s, had close to a dozen rooms and a porch that overlooks lush, spacious gardens. Heritage buffs and city historians were dismayed when the developer demolished it and build a luxury residential tower.
Similarly, dozens of old, colonial-style bungalows were razed to make way for towers. Properties on Nepean Sea Road that were more than a century old have been demolished after they were bought over by private developers.
Nepean House, which was once located behind Nepean Terrace, went under the hammer years ago and the FSI from this plot was used to build the Ashiana apartment block. Kshitij, a skyscraper on Napean Sea Road, came up a few decades ago on a bungalow property owned by Cowasjee Jehangir. Similarly , the Maharaja of Baroda’s palace gave way to the residential building Jal Darshan.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Carmichael Road saw a plethora of stately homes dotting its lush hill slopes. Old-timers recalled that many of these houses were built for about Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh. Among the oldest is the sprawling municipal commissioner’s bungalow, which came up in the 1920s, and the official residence of the Port Trust chairman , built in 1918.
The plot on which Mumbai’s first skyscraper, Usha Kiran, came up, once housed a princely-looking bungalow belonging to a Marwari family, called the Khandelwals. Among the other properties that were rebuilt, modified or expanded in the past were the Dahanukar bungalow, the Birla family house and Ghia Mansion.