After six decades of television production, the ABC is selling its 1.4-hectare Artarmon site on Sydney’s lower north shore.
The ABC has placed Studio 26 on the market as part of a review announced last year to find efficiencies within the organisation’s property portfolio.
The prominent corner industrial site at 2-8 Lanceley Place and 14 Campbell Street is being sold via an expressions of interest campaign by Knight Frank.
Funds from the sale of Lanceley Place will go towards the development of new premises in Parramatta.
Studio 26 comprises of several buildings spanning 42,000 square metres across five lots. A sound stage, dressing rooms, production offices, loading docks and a multistorey carpark are among the facilities.
Settlement is not scheduled to take place until at least December 2022, with the ABC continuing to manage and use the site until then.
Selling agent Angus Klem said the sale was in line with other large corporations across Australia that were “rationalising sites that are sitting on a valuable piece of real estate”.
“Essentially [the ABC building’s] improvements are pretty functionally obsolete and pretty dated, and it’s time to pack up and unfortunately move elsewhere to newer digs, so it’s the end of an era, unfortunately,” Mr Klem said.
The long settlement period was due to the nature of moving operations from such a large site, he added. “I think it’s more around operationally getting organised. It’s been there so long and you can’t just empty the site overnight so I think it’s more around rationalising the site and exiting in an orderly fashion.”
Joint selling agent Scott Timbrell said the site was expected to attract strong buyer interest and be hotly contested due to its development potential, location and the fact it has multiple uses. “This offering is a unique and rare opportunity for an incoming purchaser to acquire a very substantial site on Sydney’s prestigious lower north shore,” he said.
The listing agents would not reveal an estimated price guide for the site.
Mr Timbrell said the sought-after location close to the city was in an area undergoing significant transformation, triggered by large investments in transport infrastructure and the culmination of a long precinct-planning approach to St Leonards and Crows Nest.
“There is strong demand for quality assets in Sydney at the moment, and we are seeing increasing interest from investors and developers, with growing confidence in the market,” he said.
Data centre operators Next DC and Keppel DC and Ausgrid are among the recent purchasers in the Artarmon area, while other businesses in the precinct include Dexus, Telstra, and Mirvac.
The site offered various redevelopment options, Mr Klem said, which could allow an astute purchaser to maximise its potential.
“It’s a very unique site because it’s so big and in such a tightly held pocket. There’s not much commercial industrial left in Sydney – it’s all been taken by residential and this is very much industrial. To get a holding of this scale … everyone uses that word unique, but it’s genuinely unique. It’s so big, it’s massive,” he said.
Mr Klem said he expected to field enquiries from a wide range of buyers, with the site likely to appeal to data centre providers, industrial developers and retail owner-occupiers and investors. “We believe one of the most appealing future uses for the site would be as a data centre facility, but it also has strong industrial upside,” he said.
Zoned General Industrial (IN1) under the Willoughby Local Environmental Plan, the Artarmon site is part of the Artarmon Industrial Precinct, which has been confirmed in strategic planning as having a vital important role in continuing to support intensification of employment uses, including high technology and ancillary health uses.