U.S. consulate for sale, in India’s daily paper
For sale: a spacious, well-built Mumbai townhouse with beautiful views, well-heeled neighbours and one considerate, well-respected former owner.
Lodged between an advert for hair loss treatment and an article on illicit after-hours drinking in India’s commercial hub, the U.S. government consulate in Mumbai invited bids for its two consulate properties in Tuesday’s Times of India newspaper.
The consulate building, located at a much sought-after address in the exclusive Breach Candy neighbourhood in the south of the city, has long been outgrown by its inhabitants, who already have a new location in Mumbai’s northern business district.
But a buyer has been elusive. Enter the world’s most-read English language daily.
“For sale,” read the red text of the advert on page 5 of the newspaper, “The American Consulate Properties”.
Three bids valuing the consulate at 8 billion rupees ($169 million) were made by developers on Tuesday for the 8,345 sq metre (90,000 sq ft) plot, ET Now news channel reported citing sources.
The agent, DTZ, could not confirm the bids, but said that all offers would be considered. Real estate consultants not involved with the sale told Reuters that the reported price tag met their expectations.
With sales at a 30 month-low in the quarter to end-June and prices some $200 per sq ft higher today than they were a year ago, many fear that Mumbai’s real estate market is close to crashing on a glut in over-priced supply.
No details were immediately available regarding the propertyâ€™s reserve price, but with the U.S. fiscal deficit at record levels, the time might be ripe for a buyer to strike a bargain deal.