Johor royal family land in Singapore could be possibly redeveloped for luxury homes

SINGAPORE (Sept 28): The large plot of land that inspired the blockbuster movie 'Crazy Rich Asians' could be developed into a multibillion-dollar luxury residential project, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the plans.

Representatives for the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim -- the land’s registered owner -- are reportedly seeking permission to develop a cluster of high-end homes of the sprawling plot.

The land is about 30 times the size of the White House and the project would be one of the city’s priciest private developments for decades.

According to Alan Cheong, executive director of research at Savills in Singapore, it may cost as much as US$4.5 billion to develop, based on current estimates of the land size and planning parameters -- inclusive of development charges.

Cheong added that the land’s net value is at least $600 million, not including the charges the landowner has to pay to the government.

According to Bloomberg, a representative who is assisting the Crown Prince on the land matter declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, which oversees the country’s land planning, said it “is unable to discuss or disclose plans by private property owners.”

The 2.3 million square feet site plot owned by Johor royalty was once larger but has gradually reduced as the Singapore government acquired land to extend the Botanic Gardens -- a Unesco World Heritage site.

In 1990, the island state bought a chunk for US$25 million and another 1.05 million sq ft in 2009 for an undisclosed amount.

The land lies in the former Tyersall Park with the ruins of Istana Woodneuk (built in the late 19th century) lies within.

Kevin Kwan, author of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, the book and Hollywood blockbuster about Asia’s insanely rich, set the sprawling ancestral home of the fictitious Young family within the park.

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