Sixteen months after television production ceased at ABC’s Ripponlea studio, and staff based there were relocated to Southbank, the public broadcaster has listed the redundant site for sale.
The 1.2-hectare holding, known over the years as “the dream factory” or simply, “Gordon Street”, could sell for between $45 million and $50 million, according to sources.
It is likely to be replaced with a medium-density residential complex – though numerous buyer types are being sought.
The Elsternwick holding being promoted as 8 Gordon Street includes a studio officially opened in 1958 – two years after the ABC started broadcasting in Victoria.
The ABC controversially compulsorily acquired part of the estate of the heritage listed Rippon Lea mansion, next door, to create ABC Ripponlea.
Some of the shows produced at the site include Countdown, The Big Gig, Seachange, Kath & Kim – and in recent years, Mad as Hell and The Weekly. A soapie in the 1960s, Bellbird, was also shot in Gordon Street.
The site earned the name “the dream factory” because, according to the ABC when it closed the studio, “it was the beginning of TV and really anything you could dream up was new and exciting and you could create it here”.
On land zoned Residential Growth, the property offers the potential for “spectacular views” to the bay, and the CBD which is about 7.5 kilometres away.
Situated within “the heart” of Elsternwick, the plot is 250 metres from the Glen Huntly retail strip and the suburb’s train station. Private schools including Caulfield Grammar, Wesley College and Shelford Girls Grammar are also in the area.
Savills agents Clinton Baxter, Jesse Radisich and Nick Peden are targeting residential builders, aged care providers, educators, or community users, as part of their marketing campaign, launched today.
Early last year, the ABC sold a nearby studio in Selwyn Street for $45 million to Woolworths which four months ago unveiled plans to replace this holding with a supermarket as part of a mixed-use development also containing 120 apartments.
The broadcaster made headlines earlier this week when its board sacked Michelle Guthrie less than half way into her five year contract as managing director.