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US consulate to sell Mumbai properties

The US consulate general is planning to sell both its properties in South Mumbai areas soon, as it prepares to move to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), senior officials said.
The property estimated to be worth Rs 900 crore. The consultancy is preparing a document for the same, Financial Chronicle reported, citing officials.
A number of corporate houses are understood to be keen for the sea-front facing property of the American Consulate in Mumbai's Breach Candy area. The property measuring around two acres is the former Wankaner Palace, built in 1938 by the Maharaja of Wankaner (Gujarat). Now called Lincoln House, the building houses the officers of the consul general, the Consulate's principal officer; the Consular Section, an economic and political section, and a management office.

US consulate

“In Bhulabhai Desai the prices would range around 75,000 per sq ft, while Marine Lines the rates will be over Rs 40,000 per square feet. Given the soft market conditions these are conservative estimates,” said Amit Goenka, national director investments, Knight Frank.
Kapil Gupta, a public information officer and spokesperson at the US consulate said in an email response, “We intend to cover these topics soon, but are not quite ready yet.”
The Bhulabhai Desai road property is understood to be worth Rs 600 crore. The head of leading real estate developer said if the property can be developed into an IT SEZ, a commercial development could lead to a much higher value for the building. “The property would attract the Coastal Regulation Zone provisos under which one cannot increase the size of the plinth beyond the original and cannot get an FSI exceeding that available in 1991 when the CRZ policy came into effect,” said the managing director of one of the corporate house backed real estate developer.
The American consulate general also plans to sell a seven-storied building in the Churchgate/New Marine Lines area, near the Income Tax office buildings in the country's commercial capital. This building is estimated to be worth around Rs 300 crore at a developable area of one-lakh sq ft.
Officials said the US government had made an integrated complex in BKC near the Trident luxury hotel, which will house all of the government offices under a single roof. A move to the new office is planned for later this calendar year and would allow better security and integrated operations of the whole government apparatus in the Western region which covers the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh & Goa.

Source: Jun 24, 2011, Financial Chronicle