Oct 11 2007

Moving house is never easy

Anyone that has packed up and moved house will know that it is never always a smooth ride – and it is somewhat comforting to know that even the mighty Nine Network is not immune to these sorts of problems.

The Australian reports that the network was hoping to attract a buying price of around $100 million for the prime piece of real estate which currently houses TCN9 in the Sydney suburb of Willoughby. Their hopes of such a windfall could well be dashed now following the realisation that the transmission tower situated on the property – which broadcasts all three commercial channels for the Sydney area – can not be relocated. Joe Giovenco, chief of TX Australia which owns the tower on behalf of the Seven, Nine and Ten networks, said that the tower has to stay put otherwise viewers would be forced to re-align their antennas and moving the tower could impact on its signal strength across the city.

Also potentially affecting the site’s value is the proposal by the local Willoughby council that redevelopment of the site shall be limited to low-residential housing, with “medium to higher density housing to the centre and east parts of the site” – a prospect that does little to inspire a higher buying price.

In the meantime, the potential sale of Nine’s iconic studio building in Melbourne is also causing some action among the local council. The City Of Yarra is investigating planning options for the site should it be sold. The building, which was a piano factory and then a soup factory before it became “Television City” for GTV9 in 1956, is already covered by a heritage overlay which prevents any external redevelopment of the building structure. The sale of the building could see the building’s heritage status reviewed.

Nine is hoping that the GTV site in Bendigo Street, Richmond would attract a price of around $10 million given its inner-city location, though this figure may vary depending on what heritage restrictions are placed on the site by the council.

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