Nine Selling Slice Of Broadcast History
The site of Australia's first television broadcast, the Nine Network's Willoughby headquarters in Sydney, is being sold off to make way for apartment buildings.
The studios, on Sydney's lower north shore, was where the late Bruce Gyngell uttered the words, "Good evening, and welcome to television" on September 16, 1956.
For almost six decades, the television station has been home to some of the biggest names on the small screen from Brian Henderson to Jana Wendt and Ray Martin.
But now Sydney's only remaining original TV station, which was once owned by billionaire Kerry Packer, is being turned into 400 residential dwellings.
Nine informed staff on Tuesday that it had appointed commercial real estate group CBRE as agents to manage the potential sale of the network's flagship three hectare site, also known as TCN.
"But that will not happen anytime soon," Nine's chief operating and financial officer Brett Dickson said in a staff email on Tuesday.
"As I am sure you will be aware, we have been involved in a process to rezone the Willoughby site for residential use over the past few years."
Willoughby Council in February approved a concept plan for five apartment buildings and two rows of terraces, which would most likely see the demolition of Nine's TV tower.
Opponents last year took Nine to court to oppose the scope of an earlier proposal for the $200 million development.
CBRE said the land would be sold on the basis of a leaseback, which would give Nine Entertainment Co time to move to new Sydney premises.
"We expect significant local and offshore developer and investor interest in this highly sought-after site particularly in light of the recent concept plan approval," CBRE director of residential development Matt Ramsay said in a statement.
The Nine site is where Brian Henderson hosted Bandstand during the 1960s, and presented the nightly news in Sydney for four decades with the sign-off:
"That's the way it is."
It is where A Current Affair and 60 Minutes are produced in cottage buildings.
Mike Walsh and Ray Martin also hosted Midday there.
Nine's Willoughby studio is the last original TV station in Sydney, with the ABC leaving Gore Hill in 2003 and Seven exiting Epping in 2009.
Nine left its original Richmond studios in Melbourne in 2011.