The Block plot thickens as infamous St Kilda hotel back in the running

Adam Smith 16 March 2017 NEWS

question marks light1Just days after speculation the next series of The Block was eyeing a vacant plot of Melbourne land, attention has turned back to the Gatwick Hotel in St Kilda.

Rumours had swirled regarding the renovation program’s intentions with St Kilda’s infamous Gatwick Private Hotel. TV Tonight previously reported that the building, currently being run as a low-cost boarding house, was under consideration by the producers. But reports claimed Channel Nine balked at the building’s price tag, thought to be around $11 million.

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Attention turned earlier this week to a vacant plot of land in upscale Melbourne suburb Elsternwick. According to the Herald Sun, a company linked to Channel Nine purchased the property in December, and had received approval for subdivision into five lots. Foundation work appeared to start on the site this week.

But it appears the Gatwick may be back on the table, with a Fairfax report claiming a company owned by the network placed a caveat on the building this week. CBRE commercial property expert Mark Wizel told Fairfax it appeared the building had been sold.

“I can’t think of anything that would prompt the Nine Network to place a caveat on that property [other than] to protect their interest as a potential buyer,” he told Fairfax.

Production on the The Block's 2017 series is believed to be starting around April. Fairfax reported that the network had been interested in the hotel for some time, but first wanted to put in place relocation and replacement housing plans for its tenants.

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