Some locals aren’t happy the show is already ramping up in O’Grady Street, Albert Park, with builders prepping a fine brick warehouse for its transformation into four luxury apartments.
”There’s already tourists coming through and parking … If you walk down the street now there is no parking because there are construction vehicles everywhere,” Greg Sebire told The Age.
He put a petition to the City of Port Phillip asking for a residents-only parking zone and was told he will have to wait months for the result. Another said it had taken him two months to get approval to have his front fence painted in the strict heritage neighbourhood.
But a work zone has being swiftly set up for the builders.
The Block is getting underway for the third time in the City of Port Philip, enjoying close ties with the local council.
Mayor Amanda Stevens said, ”Throughout the season we will have ongoing contact with our community and the crew from The Block to ensure that our residents are considered every step of the way and that their building activities comply with local law.”
Stevens has previously said council was a big supporter of The Block: Skyhigh.
Watercress Productions paid $5.9 million for 47 O’Grady Street in June after Council and residents had fought against the previous owner who planned to turn the buildings into six apartments, but they lost the VCAT hearing.
The Nine show has a long history of dealing with residents and councils, dating back to its first season in 2003.
Producer Julian Cress told locals if they supported the show they would scale back the original proposal from six to four apartments.
”The neighbours that we met fully supported our new plans and said this was a blessing for us because they were afraid whoever bought the building would just approve [the old plans],” he said.