Palais Royale Mumbai Photos | India’s Largest Building Pictures, Images2
MUMBAI: At the junction of congested Worli Naka, in the compound of the defunct Shree Ram Mills, the city’s
residential building is coming up.
With sanctions already in place for a height of 298 metres, Palais Royale, the ultra-luxury skyscraper, is almost at par with the 300-metre-tall television tower nearby. When completed, the building will be a good 48 metres higher than Shapoorji Pallonji’s twin towers, Imperial Heights, in Tardeo’s MP Mill compound.
Work on the Palais Royale (so named because of the developer’s fancy for the Palace of Versailles in Paris) began almost two years ago on a six-acre portion of the mill plot and is being undertaken by Shree Ram Urban Infrastructure. Designed by Talati & Panthaky, the building will go up to only 65 floors, because the developer plans to give imposing ceiling heights in the apartments, each of which will be about 10,000 square feet in size.
In contrast, the Imperial towers, which rise to only 250 metres, have up to 60 floors each.
Palais Royale is located in a traditionally low-income area with low-rise buildings and the decrepit BDD chawls not very far away. The entire zone is now being gentrified with plush skyscrapers. “Palais Royale will be the tallest platinum-rated (highest ranking) green residential building in the world when completed,’’ claimed Vikas Kasliwal, VC & CEO of Shree Ram Urban Infrastructure.
According to skyscrapernews.com, the UK-based tall building database, the upcoming tower has an octagonal floor plate that dictates the overall appearance of the tower and follows Vastu philosophy. “The scheme has a white Corian-clad frame with balconies and recessed floor-to-ceiling glazing behind it.’’
Kasliwal said the tower will take another two years to complete. Incidentally, there are several developers who have announced plans for buildings of over 300 metres in the city, but the projects have so far remained only on paper. Shreepati Skies, an 80-plus-storey residential tower planned behind Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo, is still on the drawing board because a section of the tenants living in the old chawl have refused to move out.
The city’s tallest, occupied building is the 45-storey Shreepati Aracade at Nana Chowk. At almost 160 metres, the skyscraper was completed in 2002 and is more than twice as high as the 73-metre-tall Qutub Minar. The Imperial Heights towers at Tardeo are almost ready for occupation. Work on them started in 2002, but had stalled for a while because of a slew of controversies and protests against the project.
Mumbai’s first high-rise building was the 25-storey Usha Kiran on Altamont Road, which was constructed in the mid-1960s. When Usha Kiran came up, bookings commenced at just about Rs 65 a sq ft or just under Rs 2 lakh for a sprawling 3,000-sq-ft apartment. Today, the building commands a price in excess of Rs 85,000 a sq ft with a flat being worth over Rs 25 crore.
A few years later, the 20-storey Sterling Apartments came up at Pedder Road, constructed by Shapoorji Pallonji. In 1970-71, it was considered one of the premium residential towers in south Mumbai. Bookings started at barely Rs 375 to Rs 400 a sq ft. A buyer must have paid a little over Rs 11 lakh for a 2,800-sq-ft flat in the building in the early 1970s.
When completed some time in 1970, the 30-plus-storey Samudra Mahal at Worli was the most expensive building in Mumbai. In 1975, in the 25-plus-storey Prithvi Apartments on Altamont Road, flats were available for about Rs 175 a sq ft. Today, the building commands a price of around Rs 80,000 a square foot.
Around 1989-90, when the Tatas started work on the 22-storey NCPA at Nariman Point, rates were about Rs 8,000 a sq ft. By 1996, they touched Rs 35,000 a sq ft. A few years ago, an apartment on the 7th floor was sold for a phenomenal Rs 97,842 a sq ft.