Mehrangir, the bungalow in south Mumbai’s tony Malabar Hill where the late Homi J. Bhabha, pioneering scientist and father of the country’s atomic energy programme lived, is expected to set a record price when it is auctioned.

The reserve price for the property, which includes the bungalow and plot, has been set at Rs.257 crore. It is to be sold through sealed bids and an auction. Leading property consultant Jones Lang La Salle India (JLL India) is the advisor to the transaction.

The bungalow has a built-up area of 13,953 square feet, while the plot is 17,150 square feet.

JLL India Managing Director (Capital Markets) told this correspondent, “at the reserve price, the per square foot price works out to Rs.1.13 lakh plus at 1.33 FSI (floor space index) , which is conservative and in keeping with other properties in the locality.’’

“However’’, he said, “given its location, the fact that it is on freehold land with a clear title adjoining the iconic Hanging Gardens and with a spectacular sea-view, we expect a premium at the auction.’’

The last date for submission of bids is June 17. Opening of bids and auction will take place on June 18.

The bungalow was home to Bhabha till his demise in 1966. His brother Jamshed J. Bhabha, who passed away in 2007, was the custodian of the estate, which included paintings and artefacts. He was a senior director of the Tata Group, and founder Chairman of the National Centre for Performance Arts (NCPA), which is now inviting bids for the property.

Mr. Agarwal said the recent auction of the paintings and artefacts elicited a very enthusiastic response.

Industry watchers expect the auction to see bids of at least 15-20 per cent premium to the reserve price, and at Rs.1.35 lakh per square foot plus, that would set a new record.


Heritage lessons from MumbaiJuly 4, 2014

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