Air India to seek clarity from Maharashtra government on its Nariman Point building
after the previous government had expressed interest to buy the property outright when it was put up for sale in December 2018.
Air India had put the sale plan on hold following the move, but has ended up losing rent of about Rs 45 lakh per month on about 13,000 square feet, or one floor, in the 23-storey building. The rest of the space is occupied by various government and private enterprises.
“We could not lease the space earlier as the Maharashtra government was supposed to take over the building. With the new government in place, we don’t have any clarity yet, so it is better to rent out the space on short-term lease. A few tenants have shown interest and we will approach the new government for clarity and then lease the space,” said an Air India official.
The Enforcement Directorate and Reserve Bank of India were in talks to take up the space, but a final call will be taken by the civil aviation ministry.
Officials said that a sale could fetch Rs 2,000 crore at current market rates. The airline is earning Rs 100 crore in rent annually for the entire building.
The national carrier had taken the land on lease from state government and constructed the building, which has two basements, in 1970. Seventeen floors have been leased out to various firms and government departments including Bank of India, India Tourism, Income Tax, Service Tax and IT services provider TCS.
“The civil aviation ministry and Maharashtra government will decide on the sale part, but there has been co communication since the new government has taken over,” said another Air India official.
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