World's Most Expensive House Built
July 25, 2012 - India
By Dawn Wotapka from The Wall Street Journal Asia
India's richest man, and Forbes's fourth richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has built the world's most expensive house in Mumbai. It is estimated to be worth $1 billion.
Mukesh Ambani, his wife and three children plan a housewarming party for the 27-story Mumbai pad later this month.
In addition to decadent food, attendees can glimpse three helipads, a health club, dance studio, 50-seat movie theater and underground parking lot with enough room for 160 cars, the New York Daily News reports. An American firm oversaw the interior design.
The house didn't cost $1 billion to build, of course, but construction did cost millions of dollars.
Given Mumbai's astronomical property prices, the finished product is worth many times the construction tab. That's where the billion-dollar figure comes in.
The home is rumored to have a wait staff of 600, bigger than the staff of many small companies.
The house might be oversized, but it isn't sprawling: It soars more than 550 feet, more resembling a condo tower than a luxurious mansion. Children might say it looks like Lego building blocks, the Daily News points out.
Mr. Ambani could have afforded to go even bigger. According to Forbes magazine, Mr. Ambani's $29-billion fortune makes him the fourth-richest man in the world.
He runs Reliance Industries, a textile company that grew into what it says is "India's largest private sector enterprise."
Not surprisingly, not everyone is a fan of the construction, which seems out of place in a country known for its poverty and slums.
One local newspaper columnist labeled the building an "edifice to his ego," while an editor of an Indian design magazine called it "obscenely lavish."
Ouch! But some stick up for the billionaire. "He can't just walk into a cinema and watch a film like you or me," the Guardian quotes an associate as saying.
"So he has built a house to his requirements like anyone else would. It's a question of convenience and requirements. It's only a family home, just a big one. It's just another home that someone is living in. It's no big event."
This article has been republished from WSJ - Photo: CORBIS/AP
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