The Block 2019: Why the show loves Melbourne
The Block may have kicked off in Sydney, but the search for more lenient planning laws and cheaper property prices have led the hit TV show to Melbourne.
Channel 9’s popular renovating show initially launched in 2003 in Bondi, then returned to Manly in 2004 and had its final season in Sydney in Vaucluse in 2010.
From 2011 onwards, the show moved to Melbourne.
Not only has the city proved cheaper than Sydney in terms of property prices, but the councils and locals have also embraced these developments.
When you compare property prices in Melbourne versus Sydney, there’s a substantial difference.
The median house price in Sydney is $805,000 whereas in Melbourne it is $650,000, according to realestate.com.au data.
When producers are looking to buy sizeable properties to redevelop, switching to Melbourne can save the production budget several million dollars.
“If you’re talking case by case and looking at the ones we’ve done in Melbourne, I think we get better value for money,” the executive producer of the show, Julian Cress told news.com.au.
It’s not a bad thing for boosting the Melbourne property market either. In fact, to date the show has poured nearly $90 million into Melbourne real estate.
See the breakdown of investments below:
Richmond 2011: $3.6m for Cameron Street
South Melbourne 2012: $3.025m for Dorcas Street
South Melbourne 2013: $6.7m for Park Street
Albert Park 2014: $5.9m Dux House
South Yarra 2015: $6.25m Saville House
South Yarra 2015: $5.7m Darling Street
Port Melbourne 2016: $5.025m Ingles Street
Elsternwick 2017: $9.7m Regent Street
St Kilda 2018: $10m The Gatwick
St Kilda 2019: $10.8m The Oslo
Brighton 2020: $14.8m for New Street in Brighton
Source: The Herald Sun
Channel 9 has shown particular interest in the City of Port Philip, which includes the suburbs of South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Elsternwick, and St Kilda.
It’s a win-win relationship for the producers and local councils.
The council is happy to see the redevelopment of a rundown and sometimes under-utilised space in their district, while for the producers, these derelict spaces offer an opportunity for great reality TV.
“The Block has renovated a number of significant heritage buildings, retaining the much-loved heritage architecture of the area,” says The Mayor of The City of Port Phillip, Dick Ross.
“Along with the renovations of The Espy and The Palais, this has provided considerable investment into the St Kilda area, which continues to support the local economy as a destination for visitors from across Melbourne.”
This season’s property will see another St Kilda landmark brought back to life. The Oslo will be transformed from a rundown hostel to a multi-million dollar apartment block.
Local residents of Melbourne embraceThe Block coming to their neighbourhood, because they are transforming it for the better and often it leads to an increase in their suburb’s median price.
“Residents appear satisfied that The Block has retained and renovated a number of significant heritage buildings in the municipality,” says Ross.
In comparison to Sydney, where locals were often found complaining to their councils and protesting during construction.
“Last time we were there [Sydney], the neighbours organised protests and lodged objections with the council the moment they heard we were coming,” Cress told news.com.au.
“By the end, they were thrilled with the result and loved the TV production experience. We won them over, but it took a long time.
“We don’t find that sort of anger in Melbourne. We get a warm welcome from the get-go.”
The simple fact is that Melbourne and The Block complement each other perfectly and will most likely continue their fruitful friendship.