At Bandra Kurla Complex, entertainment is big business

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Mumbai | Published: August 16, 2016 6:31:49 AM

A business district by day and an entertainment hotspot by night — that's Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).

Ryan Tham, who set up The Good Wife spotting the opportunity for a bar in the business district early on, says the rentals in BKC are so steep, it's important the liquor flows. It does. Ryan Tham, who set up The Good Wife spotting the opportunity for a bar in the business district early on, says the rentals in BKC are so steep, it’s important the liquor flows. It does.

A business district by day and an entertainment hotspot by night — that’s Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The country’s most coveted office address is fast becoming the ‘go to’ place for the city’s glitterati. Between nine and five, it’s all about investment bankers cutting deals. But by nine the actors, businessmen and sportsmen are trooping in to sip some wine at boutique restaurants.

Essar Group CEO Prashant Ruia dines regularly at Le Pain Quotidien, actor Priyanka Chopra drops in for a bite as do Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan. From Jiggs Kalra’s Masala Library to Yauatcha, it’s a full house. Whipping up the cocktails at The Good Wife is celebrity mixologist Dimitri Lezinska, co-host of Discovery Channel’s series Cocktail Kings. And mixing business with pleasure are bankers — Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank are among those headquartered here — stepping out to win a deal or two.

There’s sporting action of a different kind whenever Jonty Rhodes drops by as he did recently. Last month, former football star and now Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane made an appearance.

Ryan Tham, who set up The Good Wife spotting the opportunity for a bar in the business district early on, says the rentals in BKC are so steep, it’s important the liquor flows. It does.

By end 2017, Reliance Industries’ mammoth 7 million square feet convention centre, complete with exhibition facilities, serviced apartments and a mall should be up and running. The fun element: An auditorium for live performances built on the lines of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

Also in the works is another sprawling 500,000 sq ft mall — within the Maker Maxity office complex, the handiwork of the Maker Group and RIL. Those in the know say The Bellagio, MGM Grand and Skylofts hotels will all check in here. Topping it all will be Madrid-based Studio Gronda’s exclusive 200-car drive-in movie theatre.

There’s also the proposed International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) for which the government is understood to have set aside some 25 hectares.

However, there’s no news on how soon this will come up. Nevertheless, as The Good Wife’s Tham says, it’s not going to be cheap to work, live or entertain in BKC. Property consultant CBRE reckons average rentals in Grade A office buildings are up at Rs 270 per sq ft per month and could move up; right now about 17% of the 11 million sq ft of office inventory is vacant.

The tab for residential apartments isn’t small either. Sunteck Realty’s five-bedroom luxury apartments come at Rs 35 crore apiece, clearly only for the well-heeled. But there’s no shortage of takers and that’s encouraging builders like Rustomjee, Radius and Kanakia to come up with high-end living spaces. Kanakia’s Paris, as the name suggests, is a French- themed residential complex. With space limited, however, most apartment blocks will have to be located on the fringes of BKC. It won’t be the same but it’s still be close enough.

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