‘Mehrangir’, the iconic bungalow belonging to Dr Jamshed Bhabha, and where the father of India's atomic energy programme, Dr Homi J. Bhabha, once lived has been sold for Rs 372 crore to an unknown bidder. The sale was done in Mumbai through a public auction on Wednesday.
The sprawling, colonial-era bungalow, located in Malabar Hill, one of the costliest addresses in Mumbai, has a built up area of 17,500 square feet and has been sold at a 31% higher price than the minimum reserve price set for the property at R257 crore.
"A total of eight bids were received initially, but five bidders withdrew and finally only three bids were submitted," chairman of National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Khushroo Santook told reporters. He refused to divulge the name of the winning bidder saying their identity will not be disclosed at this stage.
Santook also did not clarify whether the property will be used by the successful bidder for personal use, or it will be broken down to make way for a real estate project. However, according to real estate consultants, no developer bid for the property.
“The bid for Mehrangir bungalow on Malabar Hill was entirely led by limited end user/investors that are looking at creating personal landmark assets within the city. This was also the primary reason for the sale to have happened at a significant higher value above the reserved price. Its strategic location and architecture splendor is expected to only be exploited for self use.” Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director (South Asia), Cushman and Wakefield, said.
The auction took place amid a lot of opposition as the bungalow has a legacy attached to it. Dr Homi Bhabha was part owner of the property, along with his mother and his brother Dr Jamshed Bhabha, till his death in 1966.