Air India Building
|Air India Building|
|Address||Marine Drive, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021|
|Current tenants||Air India
Directorate General of Shipping
State Bank of India
Tata Consultancy Services
|Height||105 metres (344 ft)|
|Floor area||220,000 square feet (20,000 m2)|
|Design and construction|
The Air India Building is a 23-storey commercial tower on Marine Drive in Nariman Point, Mumbai, India. The building served as the corporate headquarters for the Indian national airline, Air India, up to 2013. There are at least 10,800 square feet (1,000 m2) of space on each floor of the building. In February 2013, Air India officially vacated the building as part of its asset-monetisation plan, and shifted its corporate office to New Delhi. The Indian Airlines House was chosen as the airline's new headquarters. However, the airline still retains the 21st, 22nd and 23rd floors in the building.
John Burgee of the New York City architectural firm Johnson/Burgee designed the building. The Air India Building was completed in 1974, and is owned by the airline. It occupies one of Mumbai's choicest real estate locations in Nariman Point. Located on Marine Drive, facing the Arabian Sea, the building is a landmark on Mumbai's skyline with the airline's trademark centaur icon on its top. The centrally air-conditioned building was the first in India to have an escalator, carrying customers from the street-level to the airline's main booking office. It initially had 30 companies as tenants, now it has only 2. The Air India building was one of several high rises including Express Towers and the Oberoi Sheraton that came up at Nariman Point, a 64 acre reclamation from the sea which was initiated as a project to ease the housing crisis in Mumbai but was later auctioned off in plots to various companies. Air India once hung a board on this building, its new headquarters, that said “Nariman had a point and we’re on it!”.
The building was one of the targets of the 1993 Bombay bombings. A car bomb exploded in the afternoon on 12 March 1993 in the basement garage of the building. 20 people were killed in the attack and the offices of the Bank of Oman located above the garage were destroyed. In 2007, Farooq Pawale was convicted and sentenced to death for planting the bomb that led to 20 deaths and injured nearly 100 others.
During June 2011, the ground floor was occupied by Tata Consultancy Services, and Air India occupied 7 floors and 15 floors lay empty. Air India started planning to move the Headquarters of Air India to Delhi, where the rent is cheaper. The Air India Building was then expected to be sold for Rs 20 billion or leased for 660 million every year. By January 2013 Air India continued to occupy six floors of the building. The office of the chairperson remained in the Air India Building.
Air India head office move
In February 2013, Air India board gave a formal approval to the proposal to shift its headquarters from Mumbai to Delhi, leasing out vacant space in the building. However, the chairman's office was still retained in the Air India building itself. Air India struck a deal with State Bank of India to lease out four floors in the building and expected to earn 10 billion (US$160 million) by March 2014 through the monetisation of its property. Air India chairman Rohit Nandan said that only three floors in the building will be retained by Air India. Later, the Indian Directorate General of Shipping decided to lease another three floors in the building.
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