… possibly Mumbai’s tallest twin tower and once Mumbai’s tallest u/c tower projects
Oberoi Skyz by Oberoi Constructions is one of the first skyscrapers proposed for the now growing Worli skyine.
Touted as a super-lux development, Oberoi Constructions apparently didn’t even deign to advertise, but instead targeted über-rich individual clients including Indian sports stars, industry tycoons and A-list Bollywood celebs.
^ The Oberoi Skyz twin residential towers
Pic courtesy ConstructionWorld and Oberoi Constructions
In contrast to many of the unique architectural gems coming up in Mumbai, Oberoi Skyz is decidedly run-of-the-mill. Comprising two towers of 65 floors, each with one unit per floor, the towers are located smack dab in the middle of Mumbai’s Worli neighborhood’s bourgening skyline where it will rub shoulders with equally tall towers and even taller supertalls.
So while the architecture of the 65-story twin towers (50 stories + 15 floor podium) is nothing special, this was not always the case. Skyz it was one of the first towers in Mumbai whose developers thought tall. The project was originally supposed to be a massive “rocket-shaped” tower 90 stories/345 meters tall, but were denied clearance because they would interfere with a nearby TV tower.
Thankfully, that era of thinking in Mumbai is coming to a close, with even taller towers having since been approved in virtually the same area as Oberoi Skyz. So you can say that this tower was either proposed too soon and was thus shortened, or the legal wrangling surrounding this tower’s approval paved the way for other, taller projects.
For more information on this tower, including articles and renderings, read on!…
I’ll start all of this backgrounder with the oldest article I could find about the project, from a Hindustan Times epaper article from 2002 and archived by Google, when the designs of the towers weren’t yet public…
Project’s 44 apartments being snapped up at Rs 20 cr — and rising
12 Nov, 2002
THERE’S NO evidence of construction on the dusty five-acre plot in Worli, where an old GlaxoSmithKline factory once stood. There’s no piling, not even environmental clearance for the super-exclusive twin towers that will rise here.
But ever-booming Mumbai does not really need proof of construction. The flats in the twin towers planned at the Glaxo site on Dr Annie Besant Road will cost you Rs 20 crore — today.
Think over the price. But don’t think too long. Tomorrow, it might be Rs 25 crore.
Bookings opened a few weeks ago at Rs 19,000 per sq ft, and India’s who’s who lined up to grab a piece of Skyz, as Mumbai’s newest towers are called. They will rise 65 floors, but with only 44 apartments.
So far, 15 apartments have been sold. The last sale was at Rs 25,000 per sq ft, and it could keep rising. Vikas Oberoi, co-promoter of the Skyz project, said by the time the project ends, the price could touch Rs 50,000 per sq ft.
Each apartment will be bungalow-sized at 8,000 sq ft and will have five bedrooms. Each will be a duplex, spread across two floors.
“We wanted a swimming pool for each apartment, but the civic body turned it down as there is a water shortage in the city,” explained Oberoi.
What he did manage to clear is two towers-on-stilts that will start 15 floors above the ground. So every apartment gets a view of the Arabian Sea. One buyer has booked two adjacent apartments: 16,000 sq ft for Rs 40 crore.
The list of owners isn’t exactly public, but it includes names like Kishore Biyani, chief of the Pantaloon Group and Enam Financial’s Akash Bhansali.
“I could also go for two. It’s a great project,” Biyani told HT. “Vicky Oberoi is a friend. I told him, when you open bookings, I want to be the first.” But Skyz is not for open booking. Entry is by invitation only.
A more recent article brings us up to date
The expensive Mumbai residential towers have been dogged by regulatory and legal issues from the start
Posted: Tue, Sep 9 2008. 10:40 PM IST
Mumbai: It was touted as the most expensive and exclusive residential block in south Mumbai’s Worli area, but it has been dogged by regulatory and legal issues from the start and a fresh twist could see its fate being decided by the country’s apex court.
The most important issue involves the ownership of the land with Mumbai’s local corporation, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), claiming that it has a right to the land. BMC also approves all real estate projects in the city.
I-Ven Realty Ltd, a joint venture between Mumbai’s Oberoi Constructions Pvt. Ltd and private equity firm ICICI Venture Funds Management Co. Ltd planned to develop 44 duplex apartments in twin 65-storeyed towers overlooking the Arabian sea. The development attracted buyers such as Future Group chief Kishore Biyani and 20 apartments were sold.
The current prices of the apartments are around Rs40,000 per sq. ft, or Rs32 crore for a 8,000 sq. ft flat.
V. Radha, joint commissioner, BMC said, “The land belonged to BMC and was given to Glaxo on lease.”
A GlaxoSmithkline Pharmaceuticals Ltd unit used to be located at the project site. Glaxo transferred this land to the developer, but Radha said there were “lapses in the transfer of land between Glaxo and the developer”. Even after the Glaxo unit was demolished, the developer could not begin construction as BMC refused to give the mandatory no-objection certificate and demanded Rs134 crore because the land had originally belonged to it.
In August, after the developer moved Bombay high court against BMC’s demand, the latter was directed to either give the project a clean chit or appeal against it in a higher court. The project could have begun after the court’s verdict, but BMC has now opted to file an appeal.
“We are going to appeal in the Supreme Court by this month-end,” said Radha.
“I am not giving up on the project. I have already paid Rs7.5 crore as transfer of land fee to the BMC and have got the required approvals for the project. I am answerable to my buyers for the delay” said Vikas Oberoi, managing director of Oberoi Constructions which bought the the 4-acre Glaxo property back in 2004 for Rs107 crore.
Radha added that BMC had “detected fraudulent measures in the developer’s usage of floor space index (FSI),” which decides how much development can be carried out on a plot of land.
However, Oberoi denied the charges. “How can they accuse us of FSI frauds when we haven’t even begun construction? Tampering with the permissible FSI limits occurs only when you start constructing,” he said.
Another twin-tower project being developed in Mumbai by Shapoorji Pallonji and Co. Ltd and builder Dilip Thakker faced several objections ranging from construction on space reserved for public road, obstructing ventilation and endangering the environment by bringing down a hill. While construction of one tower is complete and another tower is nearing completion, the developers have not publicly advertised the project. It is believed that some of the apartments have been sold by invitation.
Delays in housing projects can hurt developers, said Shailesh Kanani, an analyst with Angel Broking Ltd. “It causes problems in cash inflow for the developer because he can’t continue with bookings and even investors get stuck because the project has made no progress.”
So basically legalistic wrangling has yet again delayed the towers, same story as always.
Meanwhile, enjoy some more renderings of the towers.
^ The backside gives a better impression of build and design quality.
Pic courtesy Langan Engineering & Environmental services
^ The ‘meh’ front. Pic courtesy Business Today
Meanwhile, India Today gives us a quickie rundown on the stats:
This twin-tower, 65-storey extravaganza coming up in the heart of Mumbai will have duplex apartments of 8,950 sq. ft each, with floor-to-ceiling windows opening to a sky deck, a temperature-controlled indoor swimming pool, with state-of-the-art gymnasium, sky lobbies, exclusive, private elevators, and a little water body inside each duplex.
USP: Private elevators, sky lobbies, indoor swimming pool
Area: 8,950 sq. ft
On sale: A few flats are still up for grabs
To be completed: Early 2011
Builder: Oberoi Constructions
Price: Rs 50 crore-Rs 55 crore (approx.)
I’ve no big qualms against eating the rich, so here goes:
All in all, a pretty boring, though not totally ugly, set of towers for, as Oberoi Constructions puts it, “for people who are free from all classes, ranks or categories.” Hmph. That may very well be true, but I can assure you that their next statement, “This piece of architecture has been designed for and is dedicated to… the people of this city who will enjoy it visually.” [emphasis mine] most certainly isn’t.
C’mon Oberoi Constructions. Why couldn’t you stay with the rocket ship? 😦