The $10.8m building The Block 2019 contestants are about to transform

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The Oslo Hotel in St Kilda is the 2019 The Block site. Photo: Instagram/theblock

If you thought The Block 2018’s The Gatwick Hotel had the contestants tearing their hair out , you won’t believe what’s in store for the 2019 contestants, when 15th series of the reality show premieres on the 4th of August.

From season one The Block’s filming locations have always been of central importance to the series, and forms the basis of all the drama that unfolds as the contestants fight to sell their property to the highest bidder.

The 2019 contestants will try their hand at a brand new challenge of a site - a former youth hostel and here’s what you need to know:

A difficult site

The Oslo Hotel's facade will be stripped back to reveal the original terrace houses. Photo: theblockinatorblog

Like The Block 2018, the site is in Melbourne’s St Kilda and presents a bigger challenge than most seasons.

The contestants will be renovating what was once The Oslo Hotel, a budget backpacking den with a secret behind its facade.

The building was built way back in the 1860’s and the hostel’s front facing visage of balconies and porticos actually hides five mid-19th century terrace houses that the couples will each have to tackle.

The hotel itself was hardly a reputable joint, its still-active Tripadvisor page contains many horrifying reviews left by disgruntled guests who would probably jump at the chance to see the place fixed up by this year’s contestants.

Just around the corner from The Gatwick Hotel, which was renovated for the 2018 season, The Oslo’s shocking pictures show a hostel beyond the pale of liveability.

Horrifying shots of the hotel's amenities peppered its Trip Advisor page. Photo: Trip Advisor

The Block picked up the property for a rumoured $10.8 million, though it used to charge as little as $18 a night for a shared room.

The Block’s location in the early seasons

  • The Block 2003 - Apartments in Bondi, Sydney

  • The Block 2004 - Apartments in Manly, Sydney

  • The Block 2010 - Apartments in Vaucluse, Sydney

  • The Block 2011 - Workers cottages in Richmond

  • The Block 2012- Former terrace houses in South Melbourne

  • The Block 2013 - Heritage homes in Bondi, Sydney/ Motel in South Melbourne/

  • The Block 2014 - Abandoned warehouse in Albert Park/ Former office building in Prahran

  • The Block 2015 - Apartment block and a former hotel in South Yarra

  • The Block 2016 - Art Deco heritage building in Port Melbourne

  • The Block 2017 - Weatherboard homes transported to Elsternwick

  • The Block 2018 - The Gatwick Hotel in St Kilda

The Block contestants of 2003 had the task of renovating a rundown apartment complex in Sydney’s beachside suburbs of Bondi.

In 2003 The Block contestants renovated this Bondi apartment complex. Photo: Nine

The next year’s season followed suit, hopping across the harbour to film in the northern beaches Manly area.

A six year gap didn’t revolutionise the approach to picking a site, and the producers opted to keep the apartment complex vibe going, settling on a property in Sydney’s plush eastern suburb of Vaucluse.

Then, like a North Shore private school child in their early 20’s looking to find themselves, the series upped sticks and moved to Melbourne, specifically Richmond in the fourth season in 2011.

The Block moved to Melbourne, kicking off with cottages in Richmond. Photo: Domain

In the 2011 series the contestants took four dilapidated worker’s cottages all the way from the first week to the final auction.

From there, with the exception of a brief wobble, the series has been filmed in Melbourne, which is where the 2019 contestants will try their hand at the new challenge.

The Block will premiere this Sunday 4th August on Channel 9 and 9Now.

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