PS: The potential sale of the ABC studios is nothing new. In fact, it has been on the cards for at least ten years. That raises the question of what Council has been doing in the meantime? Is it another instance of too little, too late? The horse has already bolted? Below are some media reports that will interest residents. Please note one real estate agent’s comments regarding the lack of height limits set by council!

The Rippon Lea Estate point of view –


ABC’s Slice of Rippon Lea Estate, Elsternwick, Expected to Sell For More than $25 Million

Written by Marc Pallisco

Monday, 26 October 2009 23:16

Rippon Lea

AN 8,000 square metre slice of Elsternwick’s historic Rippon Lea estate, compulsorily acquired by the State Government in the 1950s for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – is likely to be sold to residential developers, if the ABC vacates the property in 2012.

ABC project director Ray Moore told Secret Agent it is considering selling two Elsternwick properties, currently occupied as studios and offices, including a major complex on Gordon Street abutting Rippon Lea – built on what was once the property’s southern boundary.

Moneys raised from the sales will fund the development of a new $90 million studio at 102 Sturt Street in Southbank, Mr Moore said. The Sturt Street development, which would be next door to an existing ABC office at 120 Southbank Boulevard, is subject to parliamentary approval, but expected to occur.

Sources estimate the value of ABC’s outgoing Gordon Street office to be about $25 million.

They say the land could make way for an apartment complex, similar to that being proposed around the Stonington mansion in Malvern, or a lower density subdivision, as occurred behind Canterbury’s Frognall mansion in the early 1990s.

At close to a hectare, the site could also make way for several apartment towers offering Port Phillip and CBD views, over Rippon Lea’s established gardens.

ABC offices and studios were developed on part of the Rippon Lea estate, prior to the opening of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Popular television shows including Countdown, The Big Gig and The Late Show were later recorded at what is known as the “Rippon Lea studio”.

The land occupied by the ABC is not on the Victorian Heritage Register, but a Heritage Victoria spokeswoman said the ABC could still return the land to the estate, if it wanted. The imposing Rippon Lea property is managed by the National Trust, and open to the public.





ABC set to leave home

Phillip Hudson and Nathan Mawby

3 May 2013


THE ABC will be leaving its historic TV studios at Ripponlea and the valuable property may be sold for high-rise residential development under plans to build a new headquarters for the national broadcaster in Southbank.

Famous ABC programs such as Countdown were produced at the Gordon St studios, which opened in 1956 with the introduction of television.

In recent years, it has been home to programs such as Adam Hills chat show In Gordon Street Tonight and filming for the series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Under the plan, the ABC will build a five-storey headquarters next to its existing Southbank offices, where its TV news moved in 2001.

It will include new TV studios and a major TV production centre.

The overhaul is aimed at guaranteeing jobs and production in Victoria.

The Federal Government will loan the ABC $90 million, which it has to repay by 2020.

ABC managing director Mark Scott said the new building would be designed to put the ABC’s many services on show.

“All the plans for this area are to make it more visible, more highly trafficked by pedestrians, make it more of a centrepoint of the centre,” he said.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the new building would be home to the ABC’s radio, television and digital production operations as well as its broadcasting and support services.

Senator Conroy said consolidating operations would allow the ABC to achieve operational savings and productivity benefits.

Local architect Robert Mills said the Ripponlea site’s proximity to the CBD, transport, schools and shopping meant that while a feasibility study would be done, it would likely become a residential site.

“It will be controversial, but I predict the final outcome will be a high-rise,” he said.

Mr Mills said that while the building had no council height restrictions, its height would likely be limited by shading.

The former Channel 9 studios in Bendigo St, Richmond, are being transformed into apartments and townhouses, selling for up to $1.2 million.