The five-storey premises is owned by the Fiji Public Service Credit Union (FPSCU), which has given Fiji TV a month’s notice until June 5 to vacate, a company press release confirmed.
Fiji TV has been paying its rent on a roll over basis since 2008, when its tenancy agreement with the FPSCU expired. However, it says that a sudden spike in commercial rent by at least 50 percent by the landlord has made it unsustainable to continue renting the property.
And given the scope of the operations inbuilt into the property, Fiji TV says it is seeking a reasonable timeline from the FPSCU to relocate.
Fiji TV CEO, Geoffrey Smith noted that they gradually rented out the entire five floors of the building, alongside a neighbouring car park, after sharing building space with other tenants when it opened in 1994.
“However, a recent major restructure of the television company has also resulted in giving up two floors facing Government buildings along Gladstone Rd in September last year, while the ground floor will also be vacated by the end of June as part of the Digicel takeover of Sky Pacific,” he stated.
With this leaving Fiji TV only two floors, the company board has since urged management to fast track its search for a new base.
“With the kind of commercial rent we have been paying now for over two decades and the recent demand for much higher commercial rent, it makes more business sense for us to seek out our own property, tailor made to proper TV standards,” Mr Smith added.
Fiji TV was one of the original tenants of the property in 1994, when it started off by leasing a single floor.
The two floors it gave up last year has since been occupied by the Water Authority of Fiji.