India's high earners fuel demand for high-rise luxury

The heart of Mumbai city, once a cotton mill hub, is seeing a rapid change in its skyline as more than 30 skyscrapers are mushrooming out of slumland in the city's most congested district.

The transformation reflects the breakneck pace of growth in Asia's third largest economy, as India's property and capital markets boom and developers build dream homes for a rapidly-growing list of Indian millionaires.

Most of these high-rises, all over 40-storeys, are under construction while some are ready for owners to move in.

Aashish, a successful Mumbai corporate director in his mid-40s, is eager to live in the lap of luxury with commanding views of the Arabian Sea.

But he won't have to leave the chaos, noise and congestion of India's financial capital to find his dream home and the peace and quiet he craves.

Instead of new builds in the far-flung suburbs, the construction of upscale homes is now rapidly taking place in the city, as tracts of now-defunct cotton mill land are being freed up for development by the state government.

"Peace and quiet, something which enhances life for my family," is what Aashish says led him to buy a luxury flat measuring more than 4,000 square feet (370 square metres) in the 80-storey Orchid Heights in downtown Jacob Circle.

The twin towers, sprouting up near a mass of railway tracks, low-rise tenements and choking traffic, are under construction.

Those behind the project say that people like Aashish, a director with one of India's leading telecom companies who asked for his real name not be used, are their prime targets alongside chief executives and entrepreneurs.

"Mumbai has no option but to grow vertical," said senior architect Deepak Hiremath of Mumbai-based Disha Direct, which designs and sells second homes.

"Mumbai's architecture will be influenced by that seen in Dubai," he told AFP.

DB Realty, one of India's leading property developers, calls people like Aashish a "retreat seeker" - a successful businessman who wants to enjoy his wealth in privacy.

He and others like him will pay nearly two million dollars for a designer apartment, built in a complex that boasts private cinemas, swimming pools, floodlit tennis courts, banqueting rooms and high-level security.

One of the most prestigious upcoming projects is Lodha Developers' "World One", a 117-storey colossus which will soar 1,450 feet (442 metres) - with green spaces, cafes and an open-to-air observatory - by 2014.

It will be one of the world's tallest residential buildings, containing apartments costing as much as 14 million dollars.

Another luxury venture, the exclusive Lodha "Bellisimo" has started to receive residents who have been hand-picked for their suitability, said a company official.

The phenomenon - a stark sign of the gap between rich and poor in Mumbai, where 55 percent of the estimated 18 million population live in slum areas - is being replicated across India's crowded cities.

At least 29 luxury projects have been launched in six leading cities - New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune - since the end of the global slump of 2008.

"Demand is sustainable," Shahid Balwa, chief executive of DB Realty, told AFP.

"The size of the market is very large. Mumbai can absorb between 30,000 to 40,000 homes in the one million dollar-plus category, each year."

sal/phz/bgs/lb

 

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn