Molly Meldrum ABC studios
Molly Meldrum (foreground) and the now sold ABC TV studios. Image – Creative Commons.
  • The 11,740sqm was relisted in May, and comes with with favourable zoning
  • Notable TV shows were filmed there: Countdown, Spicks and Specks and Kath & Kim
  • 'The most significant inner-Melbourne site to be offered to the market in 2021'

It has been announced the former ABC Elsternwick studio at 8 Gordon Street in  Melbourne – where iconic Aussie TV shows such as ‘Countdown’ were filmed – has been sold.

The 11,740 sqm site was originally listed in 2018, one year after it was decommissioned by the ABC who had moved to their new accommodation in Southbank.

At the time, Savills Australia’s Clinton Baxter, Jesse Radisich and Nick Pedan were appointed to market the property and expected interest from “the full range of developers” such as those from the commercial, education, aged-care and healthcare sectors.

However, it did not sell, despite being located in a residential growth zone in inner Melbourne with a height potential of up to eight levels on some parts of the property.

Subsequently, it was relisted this year by the same trio and was snapped up by an undisclosed local developer for what several sources reported was $30 million, with 10 buyers competing for the property. It has been sold with vacant possession.

“This sale will undoubtedly attract international attention by virtue of it being the most significant inner-Melbourne site to be offered to the market in 2021,” Mr Baxter said when the site was relisted in May.

“There simply isn’t another site of such magnitude and offering a unique array of amenity and positive attributes within the inner suburbs of Melbourne.”

Clinton Baxter, Savills Australia

“This is one of those exceptional properties that very rarely hits the market offering all of the attributes for a successful redevelopment.

“In this case favourable residential growth zoning, abundant surrounding amenity including retail, public transport, bay beaches, and numerous prestigious schools, coupled with stunning views across the adjoining Rippon Lea Gardens.’’

Countdown with Molly

The studio is perhaps most famous for being the home of Countdown, a weekly music show hosted by Molly Meldrum which began in 1974. The show has been credited with catapulting many Australian and international artists to stardom.

The show was also known for promoting music videos – something that, with some irony, led to the show being cancelled in the late 1980s.

Additionally, shows such as Kath & Kim, Frontline and Spicks and Specks were filmed at the studio.

The sale comes despite opposition given its cultural significance.

When originally listed in 2018, the Glen Eira City Council proposed an alternative vision for the site. This included preserving the soundproof stage – the only one of its kind in Australia – for community use while partially converting the site into affordable housing and developing the rest into public recreational space.

Savills previously listed ABC’s nearby Selwyn Street property to Woolworths in a deal worth almost $50 million back in 2017.

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