CHENNAI: Businessman Vijay Mahtaney is looking for a buyer for his over nine grounds (one ground is 2,400 sq ft) of property in Chennai's Boat Club area, its most expensive address, in what could possibly lead to one of the priciest residential realty deals in the city in recent times.
Mahtaney, the owner of the closely-held textile business Ambattur Clothing as well as the 201-room Park Hyatt Hotel, confirmed the news. He told ET: "We are in negotiations with people. I see good value now. Boat Club prices will not go up further". Mahtaney wants to re-invest the money in his other realty businesses - his Ambattur Developers builds hotels, IT parks and residential projects.
Real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle has the mandate for the sale. Going by market estimates, such a property can look to attract Rs 120 crore or thereabouts. According to CBRE South Asia, in 2013, a square foot of residential land in Boat Club cost about Rs 30,000, nearly 70% more than what it was in 2013. Other less pricey areas of Chennai have, however, grown more in percentage terms during this period. Though Chennai's realty prices have plateaued and even fallen in some areas after the highs of 2012, what with the struggles of the economy, the city's developers seem to be betting big on luxury residential dwellings.
In recent years, builders have paid top dollar to buy commercial properties with the intention of developing luxury apartments. One example is of builder VGN, which bought a 1.5-acre property from Tata Communications for Rs 195 crore as also a 10-acre property from HTL Communications for over Rs 270 crore. Its rivals such as Akshaya and Ceebros have effected similar deals. Boat Club remains the most sought-after address for the corporate honchos in the town.
It is home to businessmen such as Venu Srinivasan (of TVS Motors), Kalanithi Maran (Sun TV) and Shyam Kothari (Mukesh Ambani's brother-in-law ). Business leaders of family-run groups such as the Murugappa, TTK and MRF also live here. The area has never seen a dearth of deals.
In July 2011, for instance, India Cements owner N Srinivasan acquired 10 grounds, reportedly, for Rs 90 crore. It was also reported at that time that he bought three grounds for his daughter Rupa Gurunath and the rest for a group company. A year ago, the TVS group had sold a 31.3-ground property, which was bought by four corporate honchos, including former Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan and Rane Group Chairman L Ganesh. The sale reportedly gave the TVS group close to Rs 150.