S'pore land with abandoned Istana Woodneuk on it to be redeveloped into luxury homes

The plot of land is worth up to S$4.5 billion and is 30 times the size of the White House.

Zi Shan Kow | September 27, 2021, 04:08 PM

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A plot of land in Singapore owned by the Crown Prince of Johor, which has been left disused and to rot for decades, will possibly be transformed into a multi-billion dollar luxury housing development, Bloomberg reported.

A cluster of high-end homes

The land is registered under the Johor Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Representatives of the Crown Prince are currently in talks with Singapore authorities for permission to develop a cluster of high-end homes, but all these were reportedly occurring under wraps with discussions ongoing since 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Alan Cheong, executive director of research at Savills Singapore, said the plot could be worth between S$2.66 billion and S$4.5 billion.

This is based on current estimates of the land size and planning parameters, inclusive of development charges.

The land’s net value is at least S$600 million, excluding the charges the owner pays to the government, Cheong added.

Existing good class bungalows in the area are worth between S$20 million and S$30 million.

The land

The 210,875m² plot is located in one of Singapore’s most desirable residential districts, bounded by Holland Road and Tyersall Avenue.

The Singapore government had previously acquired two segments of the land to extend the Botanic Gardens, a Unesco World Heritage site.

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

The property is 30 times the size of the White House, and was previously estimated to have a commercial value of S$4.7 billion.

At the moment, the area is zoned for "special use of green space", and will need to be recategorised if it is to be developed.

Istana Woodneuk

Within the compound is a vacant two-storey palace known as Istana Woodneuk.

It was built by Johor Crown Prince's ancestors in the late 19th century.

Rebuilt in 1935, the palace was also reportedly the inspiration for the fictitious Young family's home in the movie Crazy Rich Asians, which was set in Singapore.

Today, the palace is overgrown with vegetation and its interior is heavily vandalised.

Trespassers will be prosecuted, according to a police sign board put up at the makeshift entrance into the property.

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