Creditors of the Italian Forum Limited (IFL) have agreed to sell the insolvent entity to childcare provider Tick Tock Services.
IFL controls the Italian Forum’s cultural centre, including a state-of-the-art auditorium, rehearsal space and kitchen.
As part of the resolution, the space will be leased to Actors Centre Australia (ACA), an acting school which boasts Hugh Jackman as its patron.
Tick Tock Services has previously indicated its intent to supplement income by building a childcare centre on the roof of the cultural centre.
Stephen Hathway, executive director of administration firm SV Partners, said the process had been “exhilarating” and that the best outcome had been delivered.
He said Tick Tock produced a “superior financial offer” and he expects a contract to be signed before Christmas.
The other options, including bids from Italian language school Co. As. It. and builders Novati Constructions, were presented to a meeting of Leichhardt Council last week. The council has guardianship over the federal government’s $2.9 billion conditional grant to the centre.
Mr Hathway said he understood councillors would consider the matter by February but that “they would have been outvoted” had council staff dissented from the creditors’ agreement. But Leichhardt Council, as the largest creditor, says it has an effective power of veto over any decision and will consider the matter at an upcoming meeting.
The ACA had backed the Novati Constructions bid, but was approached by both parties for an agreement.
“We see great potential for our school to grow, but also to connect with the community,” said operations and development manager Allan Rendell.
He said the ACA would give the cultural centre a stable income and still allow a large scope for weekend and after-hours community activities.
“We’ve met a lot of interesting people who I think are just waiting for that place to ignite.”