Rediff.com
Print this article

Alfred Ford, DLF plan luxury homes

December 06, 2007 09:20 IST
Henry Ford's great-grandson Alfred Ford, entrepreneur Amit Judge and the country's largest realty firm DLF have one thing in common (besides their wealth, of course).

They have realised that there is a lot of money to be made from selling ultra-luxury villas at holiday destinations in India. The target customers will be high net worth individuals, since each of these villas is being branded as "second homes" and will be sold for upwards of Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million).

Ford's scion is undertaking an ambitious $350 million project for developing India's version of Aspen near Manali.

Touted as the largest foreign direct investment in the Indian tourism sector, this 115-acre luxury development - christened Himalayan Ski Village - will comprise condominiums, penthouses and villas with a price tag of close to a million each.

And for those not into skiing, the eco-friendly resort will offer kayaking, fishing, paragliding, trekking, mountain biking and rafting.

Going all out to ensure that there is never a dull moment at the Himalayan Ski Village, the management is betting big on night life and entertainment. There'll be night clubs and special musical events featuring national and international stars will be on offer.

Devbhoomi Awas, a joint venture between Amit Judge controlled Turner Morrison Group and Khattar Holdings of Singapore, has zeroed in on Rishikesh for developing 26 leisure villas.

Located 30 km from Haridwar, the three-bedroom duplex villas (there are 15 of them) equipped with swimming pools and facing the Ganges, are apparently being hawked for a whopping Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million) each.

The prices are astonishing since even the upmarket apartments in Delhi and Gurgaon come cheaper. Judge is also selling 11 two-bedroom villas for Rs 2.5 crore (Rs 25 million) each.

DLF, in partnership with Mohit Gujral, is planning a super-luxury development in Goa overlooking the river Mandovi, near Panjim. The upcoming development will feature fully maintained and serviced luxury villas with valet cars concierge and access by golf carts.

A 140-room boutique hotel by Hilton is also on the cards. In fact, the Hilton is likely to be in charge of providing all maintenance facilities to the villas' owners.

But super-luxury comes at a price. It is believed that DLF is planning to sell 5,000 square foot four-bedroom villas (with a private plunge pool) for around Rs 6.5 crore (Rs 65 million). That's Rs 13,000 per square foot. This price is comparable to DLF's Magnolias, its most posh housing project so far, that overlooks its own Arnold Palmer signature golf course on home turf Gurgaon.

A smaller three-bedroom villa with a built up area of 4,300 square foot will carry a price tag of approximately Rs 5.4 crore (Rs 54 million). The smallest villa, of 1,800 square foot comprising two bedrooms, will be built on a plot size of 200 square metres and is likely to be sold for Rs 2.5 crore.

The company also seems to have grand plans for Kasauli. While the smallest villa of 1,900 square foot will be sold for Rs 95 lakh, the biggest with a built up area of around 4,900 square foot will be priced at around Rs 3.7 crore (Rs 37 million).

Each of the villa owners will have access to a club house with facilities such as tennis courts, squash courts, card room, health club and mini-auditorium.

Nayantara Rai in New Delhi
Source: