Channel Nine’s perennial renovation series The Block has reportedly acquired another piece of St Kilda’s heritage, with an upcoming series set to take on a backpackers that carries a somewhat less than desirable reputation with it.
The series has acquired the property at 38 Grey St, St Kilda – currently occupied by the Oslo Hotel backpackers – in an off-market deal struck after the series approached one of the owners.
While the property currently operates as an extremely low-budget and poorly-reviewed backpackers hostel, the building is said to contain five mansions hidden behind the street-fronting facade that have history dating back to the Victorian gold rush.
This would mark the second time the series has tackled houses as opposed to apartments, and it represents the largest renovation projects undertaken by the show.
It will also be the second consecutive season to feature a historic St Kilda building, after this year’s upcoming controversial series which centres on the Gatwick Hotel.
The Gatwick season is the subject of consternation among locals, with the facility – despite its reputation – providing space for homeless, addicts, and people who have fallen through the cracks of society. Since the Gatwick’s closure and their subsequent displacement, affluent residents have been complaining to council to do something about the issue, which chiefly amounts to them requesting those people be moved somewhere else, away from anywhere where they could potentially bring down the value of St Kilda’s multi-million dollar properties.
Regardless, signs at the backpackers have reportedly gone up informing guests that they will have to vacate the Grey St property shortly, with Channel Nine producers and building planners set to submit renovation plans to the City of Port Phillip council imminently.
The rate this is going there’ll be a two-bedroom condo being put up in Luna Park’s eyes before too long.
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