S'pore's most expensive haunted house, Istana Woodneuk, worth S$4.7 billion

For High SES ghosts.

Belmont Lay | February 22, 2019, 06:01 PM

Istana Woodneuk, a dilapidated abandoned two-storey palace in Singapore overgrown with vegetation and ravaged by time, is estimated to have a commercial value of S$4.7 billion.

Istana Woodneuk Source: British Army

Via stateofbuildings.sg

It has been left to rot in the wilderness for several decades now at the former Tyersall Park bound by Holland Road and Tyersall Avenue near the Singapore Botanic Gardens -- which adds to its strangeness in a country overdeveloped in many places.

A Bloomberg article shone the spotlight on the property's price and claimed that the site inspired one of the settings in the Crazy Rich Asians story.

The 210,875m² plot of land with a two-storey palatial mansion is reminiscent of the setting of the sprawling ancestral home of the fictitious Young family set within Singapore's Tyersall Park.

In reality, the property belongs to the 34-year-old Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who is listed as the registered owner.

The palace was built by his ancestors in the late 19th century.

It was rebuilt in 1935.

The exact date of its abandonment is not known.

Access to building discouraged

In 2015, access to the building was discouraged with signs put up at the informal entrance informing trespassers that they will be arrested for unauthorised access.

via @GemsHaziq Twitter

There are no formal entrances.

Over the next few years, trespassers continued to access the isolated grounds as there appears to be little restrictions.

A video from June 2018 showed the vandalised interior of the house:

Getting there

Access to Istana Woodneuk is usually via a gap in the foilage along Holland Road.

The bus stop (11209) closest to the building is listed as the one opposite Peirce Road.

Once at the bus stop, walk in the direction of the shelter, and enter into the foilage on the left.

Owned by Johor royalty

The plot owned by the Sultans of Johor was once larger though.

It has been gradually reduced as the Singapore government acquired land to extend the Botanic Gardens, a Unesco World Heritage site.

In 1990, the state bought a segment for S$25 million and another 98,000m² piece was acquired in 2009 for an undisclosed amount.

The Crown Prince, however, will not be able to cash in on his Singapore land any time soon, even if he wanted to.

The undeveloped area is zoned for "special use of green space", meaning that development for other purposes, such as residential or commercial, is restricted.

If plans were to change, the land sits in one of Singapore's most desirable residential districts and could potentially be worth at least S$4.7 billion.