The iconic R.K. Studios, an indelible part of Bollywood lore and headquarters of Raj Kapoor’s film production company R.K. Films since 1948, will now make way for luxury apartments.
Godrej Properties, the real estate development company of Godrej Group, on Friday announced its acquisition of the 2.2-acre land in Chembur housing the studio. The company said it would develop a mixed-use project, offering luxury flats and retail space.
“This project will offer around 33,000 sq. mt. or about 0.35 million sq.ft. of saleable area comprising modern apartments and a luxury retail experience,” said Godrej Properties in a regulatory filing with stock exchanges. “The site is strategically located on the Sion-Panvel Road and offers an extremely well-developed social and civic infrastructure with multiple schools, hospitals, retail malls, residential, and commercial spaces in close proximity,” it added.
Pirojsha Godrej, executive chairman of the company, said, “This fits well with our strategy of deepening our presence in key locations across the country’s leading cities. We will seek to ensure that we celebrate the remarkable legacy of this site with the goal of delivering an outstanding lifestyle for its residents.”
On the value of the land, Prashant Thakur, Head-Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants, said, “The land value of R.K. Studios in pure market terms would be in the region of ₹185 crore and ₹210 crore. If we have to state a single number then we can say ₹210 crore. This is disregarding the possible premium on an iconic structure related to the Indian film industry in Mumbai, the seat of Bollywood.”
The studio has been lying unused since its Stage 1 was gutted in a massive fire that broke out on the sets of Super Dancer Season Two on September 16, 2017. The blaze, which was brought under control after four hours of firefighting, damaged electrical installations, shooting equipment, clothes, imitation jewellery, furniture, decoration equipment and an air conditioning duct. Actor Rishi Kapoor tweeted that the fire caused “loss of irreplaceable memorabilia and costumes of all RK Films”.
Randhir Kapoor, the elder son who took over the studio when Raj Kapoor died in 1988, in a statement, said, “This property in Chembur has been of tremendous significance to my family over the many decades that R.K. Studios has operated from there. We are excited to have chosen Godrej Properties to script a new chapter for this location and build upon its rich legacy.”
Last year, the Kapoor brothers had said the family wanted to sell the studio land after they found it economically unviable to maintain the property after the fire.