This GCBA’s name has origins tracing back to John Frazer’s nutmeg plantation in the 1830s, where the land was used for exercising horses. Woollerton Park, having previously been named Gallop Hill, was only named in 1949 after the last pre-war General Manager of Asiatic Petroleum Co (Shell today). Interestingly, this GCBA also shares the name (albeit with spelling differences) with a tourist landmark in the city where I went to university.
This is one of the larger GCBAs, bordered by Farrer Road, Tyersall Road, Cluny Hill GCBA and Singapore Botanic Gardens. In fact, a gate along Woollerton Drive leads you directly to the Gallop Extension of Botanic Gardens. Don’t think you can get any closer to nature!
The Gallop Extension leads you to where the restored Atbara and Inverturret houses are. This pair of houses have often been (mistakenly) identified as Singapore’s first Black & White bungalows. Built by the famed R.A.J Bidwell for lawyer John Burkinshaw (his firm Donaldson & Burkinshaw still exists), they were left in disrepair after the French embassy vacated it in 1999. Thankfully, they have now been beautifully restored to house the Forest Discovery Centre and Botanical Art Gallery for the enjoyment of Singaporeans and tourists alike. You can check out more details on the history by The Long & Winding Road here.
A couple of interesting points about its surroundings. Tyersall Road is where the abandoned Istana Woodneuk is located, and the total land area of more than 2mil sqft is said to be worth $4.5Bn by the Sultan of Johore. It was also the inspiration behind Young’s family home in Crazy Rich Asians.
As for Woollerton Park, its location just off Farrer Road also makes it very convenient, with some GCBAs less than 5 mins walk from the MRT and close to amenities offered by the nearby HDB estate. There also a couple of condominium projects in this area, including the Woollerton Park Condo, Gallop Green and Gallop Gables, with the latter 2 being built by Straits Trading Limited. In particular, Gallop Gables has oft been cited as a potential en-bloc site, as it has just 140 units on 250,000 sqft of land, making it ripe for redevelopment. The only downside is that it sits on a long, slightly irregular plot of land that lacks the wide frontage expected of a luxurious development in District 10.
Back to the GCBA itself, in Jan 2021, Singapore’s richest man Zhang Yong of Haidilao fame broke this GCBA’s psf record by paying $42m ($1,940 psf) for the 21,649 sqft house. It is also beside his $27m ($1,700 psf) Winged House by K2LD Architects purchased in 2016.
Other prominent occupants are said to include billionaire Bachtiar Karim (Chairman, Musim Mas), Chua Phuay Hee (former CFO, Keppel TatLee Bank), David Low (CEO, Futuristic Store Fixtures), David Toh (former Head of Corporate Tax, PwC), Koh Kok Kwang (Director, CTLC Law), Teo Soo Chew (former Chairman, SHC Capital).
Jul 2021 – $18m ($1,902psf) – 9,463 sqft
Nov 2020 – $24.2m ($1,610psf) – 15,004 sqft
Aug 2020 – $35m ($1,273 psf) – 27,491 sqft