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Homi Bhabha's bungalow sold
'Mehrangir', the iconic bungalow of Homi J Bhabha, father of India's atomic energy programme, here was today sold at an auction for Rs 372 crore, despite demands to turn it into a museum. The property fetched Rs 115 crore more than the reserve price of Rs 257 crore.
The three-storey bungalow with a built-up area of over 15,000 sq ft on a plot measuring 1,593 sq m, offers a beautiful view of the sea. After Bhabha's death in a plane crash 1966, his brother Jamshed, a patron of art and culture, became the custodian of the estate. On Jamshed's death in 2007, the property was transferred to NCPA, an institution he had nurtured.
The bungalow where the father of India's atomic energy programme, Homi Bhabha, once lived, went under the hammer today. The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), which controls the property, invited bids early this year. Some employees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) had recently petitioned the Centre and moved the Bombay High Court against the sale and sought the bungalow to be converted into an atomic energy museum. The high court had on Monday refused to grant a stay against the sale, but posted the matter for hearing on June 23,saying the auction could be revoked, if required.
The iconic Bhabha Bungalow has a new owner, whose name has not been announced. But,realty market sources have told Business Standard that the property has been sold to a Godrej family member, in one of the costliest property deals in the country. National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), the cultural organisation set up by JRD Tata and Jamshed Bhabha, sold the iconic Meherangir property, better known as ‘Bhabha Bungalow’ in south Mumbai, for Rs 372 crore on Wednesday. The second highest bid came from Ajay Piramal whose bid was tad lower at Rs 371 crore, sources said. Queries sent to Piramal and the Godrej group did not elicit any response.
The bungalow, once home to Homi Bhabha, father of India’s nuclear establishment, was sold for Rs 372 crore. “The sale has been significant in the fact that it did not attract developer to the bidding process. The bid was entirely led by limited end user/investors that are looking at creating personal landmark assets within the city,” said Sanjay Dutt, managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, a property consultant.
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