Nearly every major country or power in the world has at least one building that is marked as that country’s tallest structure. For instance, for the New York City, it’s been the Empire States Building that’s considered the tallest among its ‘buildings.’
If you go to Malaysia, then the famous and strikingly beautiful Petronas towers capture your attention in that part of the heart of South-east Asia. Dubai’s got the famous Burj Khalifa, a structure so lanky that it could cause a twist in the neck. And similarly, Singapore has the noted Tanjong Pagar Centre.
Perhaps one may be partly surprised and partly sad to note that while there was definitely a full-scale plan to develop the tallest building in India, it no longer found a finalisation. And hence, the project hangs in as an incomplete bit of work.
What’s rather surprising is that the so-called tallest building in India stands incompleted, talking to the Mumbai skies given its sheer lankiness. You read that right.
A huge real estate project titled ‘Royal Palais’ stands in the heart of central-south Mumbai and conjures up a slightly sullen look. It’s akin to that sky-rocketing bit of ambition that started well on a fine note and then, somewhere lost its track.
So what happened to this expensive property? Why was it left undone and midway?
For starters, had this building been completed, it would’ve had pretty much everything you expect from a venerable ‘have it all’ urban mansion. It would’ve had a swimming pool, even a cinema and would’ve even been the residence of some of Bollywood’s most renowned A-listers.
But today, the Royal Palais cuts a gloomy picture beside the traffic-choked bylanes of Mumbai. And it so turned out that those behind the mega-development had banked big on the expensive property were let down by the economic slowdown.
In a report submitted on the Financial Times, mega property such as this was to have been funded by non-banking financial companies, that grew manifold from 2013-18. These firms aptly titled as ‘shadow banks’ were fuelling the growth of the financial sector for the past half a decade and the force behind the promised (or envisioned) Royal Palais was Indiabulls Housing Finance.
Thanks to a loan growth of more than 20 percent a year from 2013-18, the shadow banks became significant. But come the economic slowdown and one saw the buyers scared away and the supply of credit constricted. As a result, financing of such expensive properties was left astray, halfway down the road.
But if you thought, that’s the only incomplete real estate project in Mumbai, then think again. According to a leading real estate- property consultancy Anarock, nearly half of the luxury real estate in Mumbai’s downtown is unsold. That’s roughly 11,000 properties that are valued at INR 590 billion.
So who’s their taker now and what happens to these sky-high structures?