ABC Ripponlea studios back on the property market

ABC’s Ripponlea studios, once home to Countdown, Seachange, Kath & Kim, Spicks & Specks and Bellbird, is back on the property market.

ABC vacated the premises in 2017 for its redeveloped Southbank site, with the 1.174ha property previously on the market in 2018. But a sale did not proceed despite interest.

Savills state director Clinton Baxter said the site was expected to notch a sale north of $20m, adding it was possible someone may try to save the studios, but a heritage overlay would not stop developers bidding.

“Everything is possible for that sort of property, but whether they (those looking to save the studios) have the buyer power to out-compete the others, time will tell,” he told Real Commercial.

“It’s a huge parcel of land, the most significant metropolitan landholding to hit the market in Melbourne in 2021. It will attract a huge variety of interest from different buyers.”

A Glen Eira City Council commissioned heritage assessment noted, “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 earlier paid up to $50 million for a former ABC administration site in nearby Selwyn Street.

A four-week tender process will commence this Wednesday and close on June 2, with a deal expected to be finalised shortly afterwards.

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