Ripponlea studios on the market

Iconic studios begin sale process, but campaigners cite its heritage value.

Former ABC studios in Ripponlea are now on the market, expected to net over $40 million for the broadcaster.

The historic studios, previously home to such iconic shows as Countdown, Seachange, Kath & Kim, Spicks & Specks and Bellbird, were vacated by ABC a year ago.

Savills Australia is now taking expressions of interest for the site until October 19.

The ABC studios where groundbreaking programs such as Countdown and Sea Change were filmed is for sale, despite a recent heritage assessment determining that the property had “cultural heritage values at national, state and local levels”.

But the sale of the site has been opposed in recent months, with stars such as Molly Meldrum campaigning to save the building from being sold to developers.

A Glen Eira City Council commissioned heritage assessment notes, “The ABC Gordon Street studios are of cultural significance at the national, state and local level as a place associated with influential television programming over a broad range of subjects including natural history, drama, comedy, news and current affairs, but particularly for culturally influential drama productions such as Bellbird and Seachange and live-audience music productions such as Countdown, which greatly influenced an entire generation of Australian youth in the 1970s and 1980s.

“The site is also significant for its association with the development of a nascent entertainment and broadcasting industry, which went on to develop Australian talent in music, film, video, journalism, acting, direction, design and production and has directly contributed to the development and dissemination of a distinctive Australian culture through the medium of film and television.”

Woolworths recently paid up to $50 million for a former ABC administration site in nearby Selwyn Street.

ABC declined to comment.

Source: Fairfax

4 Responses

  1. … but look what happened when the ABC Gore Hill site was determined to be of “cultural significance”. As a result of all the asbestos and generally dilapidated buildings that housed the real television activities, the only building that was kept was the executive office tower, which now sits empty and falling down because nobody wants it. I’m as nostalgic as the rest, but it was the people, not the building, that made the ABC Ripponlea studios what they were.

  2. They’re a TV studio, or rather an ex-TV Studio. They matter to people because of the magic created in front of the camera, not because of the building behind the camera.

    They’re in Ripponlea, miles from where tourists might come to visit to look around. And even if a few would travel, what would they see… They’re absolutely chock full of asbestos, and don’t have any functional equipment in them. Most of the site is workshop, and dilapidated office space.

    To class it as a Heritage location is all about the creative projects made on the site (that themselves live on via their TV recording), and nothing to do with the architecture, form or function of the site itself. Would be doing nothing more than preventing the ABC from helping to self-fund its move into the future.

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