The initial reserve price of Rs 197 crore made this building unattractive to the bidders for long. But even when the price was lowered to about Rs 157 crore, no one showed up to buy it.
When LIT chairman Raman Balasubramanium joined in 2019, he even thought of moving his office there but an estimated renovation cost of Rs 3 to 4 crore forced the local bodies department to disapprove the proposal. It had no guarantee of a successful auction after spending so much money.
Chairman Balasubramanium said: “We did not get a good response for this building in the past auctions, so after trying out several things, we have come to the conclusion that we could try leasing out the property, if we get a good interest. The government has approved this idea but we will also try giving away this building on rent and, if possible, sell it off.”
The building with double basement and 77 units for restaurants, banks, showrooms, shops, and penthouses is now a deserted place with broken window glasses, In the evening, street vendors take it over to sell eatables, while the visitors park outside.
Among the many tricks that the LIT had tried, chairman Balasubramanium had proposed to even develop it as a basement parking for Ghumar Mandi but the plan could not take off. In April 2018, deputy commissioner Pardeep Agrawal, who then had the additional charge of LIT chairman, had inspected the building and planned to develop a jewellery market inside.
In 2013, the income tax department was offered this site for office. A few years ago, the-then Punjab deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Badal, had proposed a downtown project, which was supposed to come up at the Ferozepur Road main office of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited after moving Powercom to this empty building.