Every morning, Shree, who goes by one name, enters UB City, off Vittal Mallya Road in Bengaluru, and beholds its soaring towers. "I work at a company inside JW Marriot, and every time I step into my workplace, I look up to the towers reaching straight up to the sky," she said.
Shree, who is also a designer, said the architecture and well-spaced design convey a sense of calm tucked in grandeur.
Popularly known as a luxury district in Bengaluru, UB city has integrated developments of a luxury mall (The Collection), vast office spaces and Oakwood service apartments. Additionally, the Kingfisher Towers or the Billionaires’ Tower, an extension of UB City, houses several industry and business leaders from across sectors.
Right from the commencement of construction between 2006 and 2008, including the residential apartments that came up much later (2014-2016), about Rs 1,500 crore has been invested in the development, and today, according to local realtors, each apartment costs at least Rs 30 crore for an 8000 square feet (sq ft) apartment at Rs 35,000 per sq ft.
Currently, the entire development is held by Prestige Group and UB holding in a 45-55 percent share.
Sunil Singh, a realtor at Realty Corp, said the location makes it one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Bengaluru.
Located inside the central business district (CBD), UB City offers a multitude of experiences, from residential quarters to businesses, and has been the talk of the town since its inception.
Today, even with the rise of luxury skyscrapers in Bengaluru, UB City remains one of the most happening properties in town.
Strategically planned location
To the east of UB City, just a few kilometres away, are MG Road and Brigade Road, the ultimate shopping destination for Bengalureans.
On the western side, it is flanked by the lush green Cubbon Park, one of the few open spaces in Bengaluru, which serves as the city's lifeline.
The property is adjacent to Lavelle Road, one of the most sought-after areas in Bengaluru, for both residential and commercial.
Realtors say the average resale value at Lavelle Road today is about Rs 20,000 per square feet. UB City is also a stone's throw from Richmond Road, another posh locality where a 4BHK apartment is currently listed for sale at Rs 6-10 crore.
"The highly sought and city-centric location, especially close to government offices, makes it more desirable for businesses, and we see top companies have set up their operations inside UB City," Singh added.
However, to beat Bengaluru's traffic, UB Tower, which is located inside the property, has an exclusive helipad that makes travel between the city and Kempegowda International Airport a 15-minute affair.
However, realtors said the helipad is used for emergencies only, as normally helicopters will not get clearance to land on the tower.
The Kingfisher Towers, sprawling across a 4.5-acre land parcel, is a 34-storeyed luxury residential quarter with about 81 apartments (4 BHK), starting from 8000 square feet, in three blocks. The top two floors house a lavish penthouse.
The ultra-luxury residential quarters serve as a home to prominent business leaders, including Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, Sachin Bansal of Flipkart, Ananth Narayanan from Mensa Brands and Nikhil Kamath of Zerodha.
However, the bylaws of the resident welfare association are similar to other projects. "The only unwritten rule here is that the RWA takes much caution about the neighbours who are moving in. Only business leaders can move into the residential apartments today," Badrinath said.
More than an asset, it has become a real estate identity in Bengaluru, he added.
The maintenance amount paid by each resident is close to Rs 5 lakh for one quarter.
The project has a stunning roofline and its facilities include a clubhouse, swimming pool and tennis courts.
The wide balconies overlooking the city have become a statement. As Singh said, "We could not close some recent deals because the clients were specifically looking for apartments with balconies overlooking Cubbon Park."
Uzma Irfan, Director, Corporate Communications, at Prestige Group, said, "Every five floors we have two swimming pools, a gym and a spa, alongside other amenities."
Balaji Badrinath from Coldwell Banker added that among other amenities there are 24x7 coffee shops and a luxury salon. "Together, all the common amenities sprawl across 50,000 -75,000 sq ft.
Initially priced at Rs 20 crore, realtors say the resale value of the apartments has shot up to Rs 30 crore and above, with an average monthly rental of Rs 10 lakh.
Sources privy to the development said that recently, an apartment was put up for resale for about Rs 34 crore in Kingfisher Towers.
Some years back, sources said Amit Chawla, the chief executive officer Reward360 Global Services, and another city-based pharmaceutical supplier bought apartments here for Rs 35 crore each.
"Today I have one apartment in the Kingfisher Towers up for rent at Rs 11 lakh per month with a security deposit of about 1 crore," said Badrinath.
The office spaces, which include the showrooms of BMW, Porsche and Harley Davidson, among others, had a going rate of Rs 200 per square feet for a furnished space, as of November 2022.
UB City has also become a weekend destination for the young crowd in Bengaluru, with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Diesel and Rolex, among several others.
"It is the ultimate luxury destination, probably in the whole of southern India. We are trying to update the property in terms of constantly evolving technological advancement," said Irfan.
Note to readers: An earlier version of this article quoted a property broker as saying that a penthouse previously owned by Vijay Mallya was sold to a prominent businessman for Rs 50 crore. The developer, Prestige, has since confirmed to Moneycontrol that this apartment has not been sold. We regret the error.