ABC studios set to become Woolworths

The ABC has sold its Elsternwick studios to Woolworths.

Supermarket chain Woolworths has swooped on the ABC studio at 2-16 Selwyn St, Elsternwick in Melbourne in a deal worth about $45 million.

Woolworths’ in-house corporate property division, Fabcot, last week placed a caveat on the land title. The site is well situated for a supermarket.

The 6155sqm site, on the corner of Selwyn and Sinclair streets, with laneway access close to the Glen Huntly Road shopping strip, is in one of Melbourne’s more ­affluent catchments.

The Glen Huntly Rd strip already features a Coles supermarket and boutique retailers, and Woolworths had been seeking an entry into the leafy area.

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ABC staff will start moving to the broadcaster’s Southbank headquarters, now undergoing renovations to accommodate the operations of both studios, in April.

“The sale is a key component of a long-term strategy to integrate all of the ABC Melbourne’s operations at its Southbank ­headquarters to create a greater level of connectivity and efficiency,” an ABC spokesman told The Australian.

Selling agent Savills Australia last year said it had fielded strong inquiry levels for the site, with ­developers mulling the possibility of building apartments there.

Woolworths ABC Melbourne studios Elsternwick

The huge site of the former ABC studios in Elsternwick, Melbourne.

Only one building on the site has heritage protection, offering a range of redevelopment possibilities including aged care, education and medical.

Other high-density projects have been springing up in the ­suburb in Melbourne’s southeast given its proximity to Elsternwick train station and a number of ­private schools.

The ABC has been selling down surplus or unwanted properties for some years.

It sold its abandoned studio complex at Toowong on Brisbane’s city fringe for $20m to property developer Sunland.

The Queensland group proposed a trio of residential towers on the site by Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Hadid.

Sunland, developer of the Gold Coast’s Q1 super tower and Palazzo Versace Hotel, lodged plans for a $420m riverfront ­project to be called Grace on ­Coronation. Woolworths may work with an apartment developer on the Melbourne site.

– with Ben Wilmot

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