Avalon TV studios sold
The government-owned Avalon TV studios in suburban Wellington have finally sold for an undisclosed price after sitting on the market for a year.
The deal, which does not include the well-known office tower landmark, has gone unconditional, with settlement on March 31 next year.
Wellington property investor John Feast confirmed to NBR ONLINE he bought the studios from TVNZ with three other investors.
Mr Feast declined to name the others, but a Companies Office search of Avalon Holdings reveals the other directors of the company are Paul Mainwaring, Denis Kirkcaldie and Gary Watkins. Messrs Feast and Kirkcaldie hold the majority shares.
Mr Mainwaring is TVNZ's southern operations manager. NBR ONLINE understands Mr Watkins is also a TVNZ employee.
The sale, which has been in negotiation for months, has been subject to deals with studio users who were vital to keep the studios going.
Last week the Lotteries Commission, which films its Wednesday and Saturday night draws at the studios, announced they were shifting to Auckland.
Mr Feast says the NZ Racing Board, which produces Trackside, will continue using the studios. He also confirmed Choice TV will still be producing its new show, Brunch, at Avalon.
The devoted Wellingtonian says he hopes that because Avalon is being run as an independent facility, it might become attractive to other networks such as Sky TV and TV3.
“We’re aware the studio TV business is at a low at the moment but we’re looking to supplement that by being in the film business.”
Mr Feast says he had received plenty of moral support for their plans and he hopes this will evolve into future opportunities.
“We’re hoping we can market it in a different way that makes it a raging success. But it’s not going to be easy – if it were easy TVNZ would have done it.”