The Mumbai monstrosity: The First $1 Billion Home? by Patrick Rizzo

This is not what India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was talking about when he called in 2007 for India’s business leaders “to eschew conspicuous consumption.”

The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday that the richest man in India, who is also the fourth richest man in the world, just moved into what is likely one of the priciest pads on the globe: a 630 million pound ($1.08 billion), 27-storey-tall monstrosity in Mumbai.

Here’s what Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, and his brood got for that price tag, according to the Telegraph: A health club with a gym and dance studio; at least one studio; a ballroom; guestrooms; a 50-seat movie theater; and three pads for helicopters (to fly over Mumbai’s legendary traffic) and underground parking for 160 cars (in case people simply must drive in Mumbai).

It has more space than the Palace at Versailles and takes 600 staff to run, the Telegraph reported. Ambani dubbed the home Antilia after a legendary island in the Altantic that may have driven Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors to search for cities of gold in the Americas.

Why does 53-year-old Ambani’s home cost so much? Location, location, location. The Guardian newspaper says it cost $70.4 million to build, but Mumbai’s soaring land prices have driven the estimated price up many times that.

How’s that for conspicuous?

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