This year The Block headed back to the beach.
The cast and crew has taken over one of the most notorious buildings in Melbourne.
Nestled in between gentrified apartment blocks in the beachside suburb of St Kilda, sits the Gatwick Private Hotel, a boarding house that has long been synonymous with Melbourne’s gritty underbelly.
In 1999, Shannon Lisinski’s dad, Paul, was murdered there.
The 44-year-old told Woman’s Day, she had lost touch with her dad for eight years, before tracking him down at the Gatwick.
“He was an alcoholic. I visited him a couple of times and remember it being dark and smelling of urine. But the women running the place were lovely,” she told the publication.
Then Lisinski heard about a murder at the Gatwick, she started doing some research and soon discovered the victim was her dad.
“He’d been murdered by a girl who was staying with him. She ended up being sentenced to nine years,” she explained.
The Gatwick Private Hotel was first opened in 1937 as a “luxurious” destination, just a short stroll from St Kilda’s famous boardwalk.
For almost 30 years it served as a holiday destination for travelers from all over the world.
Then, in the 1960s, a woman named Vittoria Carbone bought the hotel and turned it into a boarding house for people who needed low income housing.
It became a home away from home for prison paroles, sex workers, runaways and anyone who found themselves down and out and in need of a place to rest their head.
Carbone died in 1998 and in the following year, the hotel was put up for sale.
Concerned that hundreds of people, with nowhere left to go, would be put out on the streets, Carbone’s twin daughters, Rose Banks and Yvette Kelly, bought the hotel with a $2.5 million loan from the Office of Housing.
The loan was given to the sisters under the condition that they continued to provide accommodation for Melbourne’s most needy residents.
For the next 16 years, the sisters worked around the clock, making sure that Melbourne’s down and out always had a place to call home.
But the sisters couldn’t control the growing culture of drug abuse and violence in the hotel, and local residents soon began to refer to the Gatwick as the “Hotel Hell”.
According to News.com.au, in February 2014, a long term resident was kicked and bashed to death in the corridor outside of his room.
The blood from his murder splattered the surrounding walls.