6 acres for Rs. 4,000 crore

Mumbai: A six-acre government plot in an upcoming southern Mumbai neighborhood fetched the highest bid of Rs. 4,053 crore from the Lodha Group on May 25, setting not only an all-India record, but reaffirming land-starved Mumbai’s numero uno position in the property market. While Mumbai has few open spaces like parks and playgrounds compared to other leading global cities, its real estate is among the priciest in the world.

The tract of land in Wadala was all set to create a record after the Mumbai Metro-politan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which controls the land, tweaked tender conditions to allow multiple towers instead of a single “iconic” tower. It also permitted 100 percent residential construction instead of the earlier stipulation of just commercial. MMRDA officials said this bounty would be redeployed for the city’s transport projects.

In 2008, Delhi-based developer BPTP had bagged a 95-acre plot in Noida for Rs. 5,000 crore, but the deal was later called off. Till now, DLF’s bid of Rs. 1,750 crore for 350.7 acres in Gurgaon last year was considered the country’s highest. But on May 25, Lodha Group beat this record by several times after it outbid three developers for the Wadala plot by quoting double the reserve price. MMRDA had set a minimum rate of Rs 40,000 per sqm  (Rs. 1,980 crore) and Lodha put in its bid for a hefty Rs. 81,818 per sqm.

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