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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Aamby Valley sales soar as villas shrink

Aamby Valley sales soar as villas shrink

July 19, 2006 12:27 IST

Sahara Infrastructure and Housing's ambitious Aamby Valley Township (the extra a has been added on the advice of numerologists) has started reporting brisk sales ever since it slashed the price of its villas from Rs 15 crore (Rs 150 million) to Rs 3-4 crore (Rs 30-40 million) and reduced their size from 10,000 sq ft to under 3000 sq ft.

"Ever since we reduced the price and size, we have sold close to 600 plots," said Sunder Lal, senior advisor to Sahara honcho Subroto Roy.

In spite of the reduced size, the price cuts are more than cosmetic.

A piece of Aambi Valley Township can now be bought for less than Rs 10,000 per sq ft, as against Rs 15,000 per sq ft earlier.

However, market sources indicate that the company has also sold properties at still lower prices of around Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million).

"We found that there was not much demand for the bigger villas, so we switched to selling smaller plots with a smaller built up area," said Lal.

The sprawling 10,000 acre township is located on the Mumbai-Lonavala expressway, 90 minutes from Mumbai.

The group began acquiring land in the area around a decade ago and claims to have pumped in close to Rs 4,500 crore (Rs 45 billion) on building basic amenities, all from internal accruals.

In an interview to Business Standard in last year, Seemanto Roy, the younger son of Subroto Roy, had said that the group will spend Rs 15,000 crore (Rs 150 billion) by 2014, when the entire project will be ready.

He had indicated that negotiations were on with foreign investors for future investments.

There are plans to build schools, hospitals, entertainment centres, economic zones, wellness and rehabilitation centres around the property.

Lakes and bridges, recreation centres, an airstrip, a 250-acre, 24-hour PGA-approved golf course, a waterfront with a faux lagoon, an artisan's village and a replica of a Banares ghat for cultural soirees are already up at the site.
Gayatri Ramanathan in Mumbai