Mumbai: Worli's Dunlop House to go under the hammer

The defunct tyre factory, spread over one acre, is expected to fetch over Rs 400 crore at the March 31 auction; it is being put on the block by ICICI Bank and the owners could contest the sale

Spread over one acre of premium real estate in Worli, the Dunlop House is likely to go under the hammer on March 31. As per realty sources, the defunct tyre factory, located on Annie Besant Road, has been put on the block by ICICI Bank.

The Kolkata-based Ruia group, which owns the factory, had reportedly been trying to sell the property since 2011 for a price of R400 crore, but deals didn’t materialise. Pic/Satyajit Desai
The Kolkata-based Ruia group, which owns the factory, had reportedly been trying to sell the property since 2011 for a price of R400 crore, but deals didn’t materialise. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The inspection of the building is going on and the reserve price has been set at R376 crore and the earnest money deposit being asked for is R19 crore. An architect said the total development capacity of the plot can be as high as 1.5 lakh sq foot.

Sources said that the owners of the factory the Kolkata-based Ruia group couldn’t repay a loan of nearly R520 crore and hence the bank had attached the property. The group had reportedly been trying to sell the property since 2011, for a price of Rs 400 crore, but deals didn’t materialise. They added that the owners could also contest the auction.

Realty sources said that while the property should fetch prices above Rs 400 crore, they weren’t sure how many buyers would come forth for the auction given that it is being held at the end of the financial year. “Any new expenditure or purchase has to be shown in the balance sheet, and the auditors would mostly advise against spending so much during the year end,” said a source.

Given its prime location, the property is very good in terms of real estate development, according to real estate experts. “Many projects are coming up around the property. To its left, tall buildings are being
constructed on mill land by top builders and many redevelopment projects are on the verge of completion to its right.

Also, the plot is close to the sea and the higher floors may give an unobstructed view of the sea too,” said a real estate broker from South Mumbai. Arqam Shaikh, architect and owner of ARC Associates said, “Under Development Control Rules 33 (9), an FSI of 4 is available for projects that are above 4,000 sq m. Thus, this project can have construction of up to four times the size of the plot.”

Choppy waters
When mid-day contacted Dunlop India Limited, a senior official said the company would need some time to revert. Sources claimed that the company was not going to let the property go so easily and could even contest the auction. An email to their official spokesperson remained unanswered, as did one to ICICI Bank.

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