On Sunday night’s auctions (where young Melbourne couple Josh Barker and Elyse Knowles were crowned the winners of The Block 2017), host Scott Cam gave us all a sneak peek at the new property for the next season – the Gatwick Hotel.
But the 1950s building, located in St Kilda, Melbourne, has had a bit of a shady past.
The derelict 66-room boarding house has been dubbed a ‘flea pit’ and has even been avoided by some homeless people. In the past, the Gatwick has gotten the name ‘The Ghetto’, ‘Hotel Hell’ and ‘Hotel of Horrors’. We can’t wait to see the faces of the new Blockheads as they walk through its doors next year!
According to The Herald Sun, the Gatwick has seen its fair share of crime over the years.
Between January and June 2016, The Herald Sun reports that more than 50 crimes were committed in the building – including rape, drug dealing, assault, theft and arson.
Four deaths have been linked to the notorious property, including a case in 2011 where a man was stabbed to death by an alcoholic.
Detective Sergeant Ed Logonder said: “There’s no hiding the fact that there’s been murders, violent assaults, there have been drug overdoses there.”
A sneak peek for the next Block series was teased on Sunday night, with Scotty declaring it the most challenging series yet.
“Yes, we've done breathtaking. Yes, we've pulled off the impossible and yes, we've captivated and occasionally even stunned the nation," he said, as he walked through the graffiti-covered halls.
“But we have never attempted anything like this before.”
People were quick to jump online and discuss its creepiness.
Housing Minister Martin Foley told The Herald Sun in January that the hotel should be closed down.
"It’s not good for the people who live there, it’s not good for the local community.
"They are no longer capable of running a rooming house that’s up to community standards."
The hotel was previously owned by sisters Yvette Kelly and Rose Banks before being bought by Nine.
When it was officially closed in July, the sisters wrote a message about their time at the establishment.
“For more than 46 years, we have given our all ... There will never be another Gatwick. God bless all those who lived here. Rest in Peace ‘Gatty’.
”We never judged or asked questions. We always made this place feel like home. Unfortunately not everyone felt the way we did.”
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