Mumbai’s Iconic Air India Building will house Maharashtra Government Departments

Air India building to be purchased by Maharashtra Govt

In a significant development, the Maharashtra government has approved the purchase of Mumbai’s iconic Air India building for a whopping ₹1,601 crore. This move, sanctioned by the state cabinet on November 8, 2023, involves the acquisition of the 22-storey structure from Aira India Assets Holding Limited, responsible for managing Air India’s properties.

Here are five key aspects shedding light on this substantial deal:

1. Historical Significance: Constructed in 1974 by the Central government for the national carrier, the Air India building holds historical significance. Designed by renowned architect John Burgee of the New York-based firm Johnson / Burgee, the edifice stands just 100 meters from the shore, facing the Arabian Sea. Sadly, it was one of the targets during the 1993 Mumbai bombings when a car bomb exploded in its basement garage.

2. Tenancy Transition: Post-2010, the Air India headquarters gradually shifted from Mumbai to Delhi. Subsequently, various entities, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the State Bank of India, the goods and services tax (GST) department, the income tax department, and the shipping department, have occupied the building as tenants.

3. Government Plans: The Maharashtra government plans to utilize the 5 lakh square feet of space to consolidate different government departments. This strategic move aims to bring together scattered departments that relocated after a fire in the nearby Mantralaya a decade ago. The government anticipates saving ₹200 crore spent on renting space for these dispersed departments.

4. Surroundings of the Building: Situated in south Mumbai’s Nariman Point, the Air India building is surrounded by Grade-A and Grade-B office spaces, luxury hotels, and residential buildings. Although Nariman Point was once among Mumbai’s costliest commercial areas, other regions like Lower Parel, Worli, and the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) have taken precedence in recent years.

5. Real Estate Outlook for South Mumbai: While office rentals in the old central business district (CBD), including Nariman Point, have witnessed a decline, the focus of banks and large corporations has shifted to areas like BKC and central Mumbai. The older CBD’s rental rates have dropped approximately 13% since 2019, presenting a potential opportunity for redevelopment to attract businesses and professionals, particularly in government-related sectors.

This acquisition reflects a broader trend in Mumbai’s ever-evolving real estate landscape. As south Mumbai looks to redefine itself, the Maharashtra government’s move to acquire the Air India building could play a pivotal role in reshaping the dynamics of the city’s commercial real estate. Keep an eye on how this strategic decision unfolds and its impact on the future of Mumbai’s property market.

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