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Dalal Estate Mumbai: Transformation

One of the oldest and largest residential complexes in south Mumbai is all set for a makeover.

By Nauzar Bharucha / TNN

Dalal Estate, the more than seven-decade-old landmark residential enclave along the Mumbai Central bridge, will be demolished later this year to make way for a 64-storey skyscraper, TOI has learnt. The project is expected to be completed within four years.

The estate, comprising 20 low-rise buildings constructed way back in 1935, has over 300 tenants—majority of them occupying flats—as well as a plethora of shops, including a beer bar and wine shop run by the son of a former Mumbai police commissioner. In its earlier years, the complex was a stronghold of Parsis, until other communities started moving in about two decades ago.

According to developer Nathani Parekh Constructions, which has the mandate to execute this Rs-300 crore project, the tenants will be shifted to temporary accommodations from October 1 and demolition work will start soon after. The little-over-an acre plot will be used to set up a single tower to house the existing residents on the lower floors free of cost, while the upper floors will be sold at the market rate.

It will be one of the largest redevelopment ventures involving pre-1940 buildings in the island city under Development Control Rule 33 (7), which pertains to the redevelopment of old and dilapidated buildings. "We have already received consent from 95% of the tenants. It has taken us four years to achieve this," said Hamid Nathani, managing director of Nathani Parekh Constructions.

According to the plans chalked out by the developer, the first two floors will be used for commercial use and the third to seventh floors for parking. The eighth floor will have a garden area. The existing tenants will be accommodated between the ninth and the 38th floors. As many as 100 flats between the 39th and 64 floors will be sold by the builder at the market price.

Currently, the residents occupy flats, which range between 400 sq ft and 1,500 sq ft in size. The developer has agreed to give an equivalent area to each tenant in the new tower. Besides, the tenants will also get a corpus of Rs 5 crore and a bank guarantee of Rs 25 crore in case something goes wrong with the project.

For decades, the mass of buildings is virtually the first sight that greets migrants who arrive from the north and the west at the Mumbai Central station, which is just a stone’s throw away. It was constructed a few years after Bombay Central station became operational. According to old-timers, Dalal Estate was initially a Parsi enclave, set up by Jehangir Dalal, who subsequently sold it to an Ahmedabad-based trust. Today, its residents are cosmopolitan, mainly Muslims, Gujaratis and the remaining Parsis.

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