There are three things residents of Melbourne’s St Kilda take for granted: kitesurfers crowding the beach, longboarders infesting the esplanade, and the looming presence of The Gatwick Hotel.
Now, what could very well be the city’s most notorious boarding house is reportedly the target for The Block’s next season.
The Age reports that the Gatwick, a 64-room facility which has garnered a reputation for violence and tragic drug abuse among its tenants and visitors, may finally have a buyer in Channel 9.
The paper states negotiations are “serious” and “in their final stages”, with the only concern on the channel’s side being the property’s price. As it stands, the Fitzroy Street joint is pegged at around $11M in value.
Neither the local council nor police say they’ve received a formal planning application regarding the property.
Last year, co-owner Yvette Kelly said methamphetamine abuse in the area had contributed to their reluctant decision to sell up. She described its perception among other businessowners along the strip by saying “they have such an issue with The Gatwick being in the middle of this new gentrified area.
“They don’t want to look at it, but we were here always.”
Should it actually be sold, Victorian housing minister Martin Foley said government funds stashed away for its redevelopment and improved safety provisions would instead go towards housing current residents in a more modern facility nearby.