MUMBAI: Whatever the general market trend, Mumbai's realty market does not stop creating new records. In the costliest apartment deal in the country, a sea-facing duplex in a Malabar Hill building was recently sold for Rs 57 crore or roughly Rs 1.35 lakh a sq ft.
The duplex in the tony Darshan Apartments on Mount Pleasant Road was sold last month to the Bulchandanis, a prominent business family with interests in software, aluminium and real estate. They own three other duplexes in the same complex.
The family's latest acquisition (flat number 111) sits on the 9th, 10th and 11th floors of the complex's 'A' wing, has four bedrooms and is spread over 3,510 sq ft. It comes with attached terraces of 1,386 sq ft on the 11th and 12th floors and a covered garage of about 700 sq ft.
According to property documents, the apartment was previously owned by the sisters Mana and Shyama Sarabhai. It was bequeathed to them by their late father Gautam Sarabhai. Gautam, who died in 1995, was the brother of Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of India's space programme.
Legal sources close to the Bulchandani family confirmed the transaction. The Sarabhais could not be contacted for comment.
Located near the chief minister's residence, Darshan Apartments was the first residential complex in the city where duplexes were constructed. Sitting on an incline, it has 42 flats offering a view of the Arabian Sea. The complex was built on a 6,752.5-sq-m plot originally leased by Gautam to the Malabar Hill Cooperative Housing Society for 21 years. The society purchased the land from Gautam in 1971.
The recent Darshan Apartments deal overshadowed the record created by the glassware company Borosil this July when it paid Rs 21 crore (or roughly Rs 1.23 lakh per sq ft) for a sea-facing flat on the 10th floor of Samudra Mahal in Worli. It also eclipsed the Rs 1.2 lakh per sq ft paid by Jindal Drugs for a luxury apartment in Tahnee Heights on Nepean Sea Road in June 2012.
Property experts said the latest transaction was a one-off and did not reflect general market sentiments.
"Apartments in landmark south Mumbai buildings will continue to fetch premium rates because of their location and upkeep," said an expert. "There are not many buildings of such quality. So, they fetch higher premium than many new developments."