The Block in 2014: For the Little Property Developer in all of us


Our fave show is returning to Channel 9 TV with all the much anticipated twists and turns. It’s not only fans v faves, but a new process of elimination to leave us hanging on the edge of our seats, and a whole new set of building challenges.

The big change for me is that The Block has gone “property developer” this year. The new premises is an old derelict Cinema, gutted and transformed in to new three-story loft-style dwellings. With this kind of development the stakes are high now considerably higher. The building was purchased by the series producers for $5.85 Million (last sale being in 2007 for $5.61 Million). If the market holds, the chance of significant returns are much higher than ever before. Will this leave us home show viewers glued to the screen, or will it become less relevant to what we’re all doing in the real world of adapting houses to family needs?

This building is no ordinary house in the suburbs. The old Melbourne Dux Cinema in Albert Park that forms the basis of this year’s show is not only a massive undertaking, but we are wondering if there is a heritage angle being explored. After all, Charlie Chalpin himself stood between these very same walls for the premiere of one of his own movies back in the 1930’s.

The Red Brick Warehouse that forms the basis of the series has also been a Presbyterian Church, a warehouse and an office in its life to date. At 11 meters high it stands out from its surroundings – no doubt there was some fun in the approval process – but the producers have strong ties with the local council, having already done two successful renovations within its domains. Will it be a gut and run, or is something of the story of the building being maintained?

If you’ve watched past series, you will see some familiar faces – the faves. Landscaper Dale Vine returns from the 2012 series where he originally competed with his wife Lara, only this time in a new team with Brand Cranfield. The boys will be competing with the “get-it-done-now-bitch” twins from 2013 – Alisa and Lysandra. Lots of potential for Boy Team v Girl Team action there. Joining them are Chantelle & Steve from (VIC), Kyal and Kara (NSW), plus Chris and Pas, and Jesse and Kenny from QLD.

We love seeing Scott Cam back at the helm, with challenge master Shelley Craft, plus judges Neale Whittaker, Darren Palmer and Shaynna Blaze. We understand there will be two series in 2014 – one starting next week and then another round at the end of the year.

The Block 2014 starts Monday 27th January at 7:30pm on Channel 9.