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Lodha acquires Washington House for Rs 342 crore

Leading realty company Lodha Developer has finally acquired Washington House, the three-storey residential building owned by the US consulate on Altamont Road, for Rs 341.8 crore.

Lodha beat three rival developers including Mahindra Lifespaces and Tata Housing whose bids ranged around Rs 300 crore, which was far below the reserve price of Rs 350 crore fixed by the consulate.

Dubbed as the billionaires' lane, Altamont Road is among the 10 costliest addressess in the world and is home to some of the richest Indians, including Mukesh Ambani and several Bollywood stars.

Property experts said that Lodha's bid, although below the reserve price of Rs 350 crore, is in tune with current sluggish market conditions. "Though the property is located in an upmarket locality, the economic market is not in tune with the ground conditions. The consulate must have therefore, thought it prudent to accept the best price,'' said an expert.

The three-storeyed Washington House covers 2,702 square metres, or nearly three-fourth of an acre. It is listed as Grade III property and falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone II. The plot has a road reservation of about 293 sq mt.

Early on Tuesday afternoon, Abhishek Lodha, managing director of Lodha Group, sealed the agreement by handing over the full and final payment of Rs 300 crore to the consulate. The developer had earlier paid Rs 40 crore. The sale agreement was then signed and registered at the Old Custom House, Fort, in the presence of Lodha and Paul C CoxBSE -2.13 %, a senior official and the authorized signatory from the US embassy. Lodha reportedly paid a stamp duty of about Rs 17 crore to get the property transferred in his name.