MUMBAI: Inside the sprawling Bombay Dyeing mill at Worli on a sultry Wednesday afternoon, tempos are lined up outside Wadia International Centre (WIC), the Wadia Group headquarters. The building is being vacated and the chairman’s office has shifted to the Bombay Dyeing property at Dadar-Naigaum. Behind the Wadia headquarters, the Shilpa Shetty-owned Bastian restaurant too has shuttered. So what’s happening on this prime real estate property in central Mumbai controlled by Nusli Wadia, one of the largest private landowners in the city?
Though there is no official confirmation, multiple property market sources said 18 acres of Bombay Dyeing’s land on Pandurang Budhkar Marg in Worli is expected to be sold to the Japanese conglomerate, Sumitomo, for roughly Rs 5,000 crore. Sources said it could end up as Mumbai’s largest land deal to date in terms of value. Some years ago, Brookfield Asset Management bought Hiranandani Group’s offices and retail space in Powai for Rs 6,700 crore, but the Brookfield deal was for complete buildings while the Wadia deal is for vacant land.
Early this week, a public notice was issued by the law firm, Wadia Ghandy, on behalf of its unnamed client, wanting to investigate the right, title and interest of the Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company Ltd land measuring over one lakh sq m at Worli. A call and message for a comment to a Wadia Group spokesperson did not elicit a response.
The WIC was once touted as “the second flagship project” by Bombay Realty, the real estate company of the Wadia Group. It was meant to be a “luxury mixed use” development of residences, offices, a luxury hotel, mall, high street and a state-of-the-art hospital. Market sources said the Wadias have, however, decided to hive off this property and shift its offices to the Bombay Dyeing Spring Mills in Dadar-Naigaum.
According to the mill land policy, Bombay Dyeing surrendered eight acres to the BMC for recreation space and another eight acres to the state housing authority, Mhada, for public housing from its Dadar-Naigaum mill. A BMC official said the developer will be entitled to transfer of development rights of over 82,000 sq m for surrendering part of its land to the BMC and Mhada. The housing authority has constructed buildings for transit accommodation and homes for mill workers on its portion.

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