NEW DELHI: After LIC and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), now the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has expressed its interest in the Air India’s iconic tower at Nariman Point in Mumbai, located at Marine Drive.According to sources in Air India, the RBI has approached the national carrier and offered to take the whole building on lease as well as a rental of 10 years.
“RBI is interested in taking the whole tower on lease. They are also offering advance payment for 10 years. The offer is being considered and no decision has been taken so far,” an Air India executive aware of the process told this paper.The executive, however, refused to divulge further details on the payment offered for the bid.
After facing a huge debt, Air India in December floated a tender to sell its 23-storeyed tower as part of a larger asset-monetisation plan. That time, it had allowed only government entities to participate in the bidding for leasehold rights.
Earlier, LIC and JNPT were also in the race of acquiring the building, but they had offered to buy the building rather than rental. Built in 1974, the building was designed by US architect John Burgee and was the first centralised air-conditioned office in India. Despite so many towers springing up in the neighbourhood, it still remains a landmark on Mumbai’s skyline, identified by a centaur icon on top. The building served as the AI headquarters till 2013, before it was shifted to Delhi.