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Vancouver taxpayers on hook for $1-billion as most Olympic Village units unsold !
The Province ^ | 09/08/2010 | Damian Inwood and Kent Spencer

Posted on 09/08/2010 7:43:35 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Sixty-six per cent of Vancouver’s pricey Olympic Village condos remain unsold — a total of 483 units at the massive False Creek development that served as athletes’ housing during the two-week 2010 Games.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, whose city remains on the hook for more than $1.03 billion of the cost of the project, predicts it will take a “full two-year term” to sell the remaining units.

“There is some concern we’re going into another [economic] dip,” Robertson said last week. “[But] I have full confidence in the developer and the marketing taking place.

“I hope the market kicks in and they get sold. I’d like to see it fill up sooner rather than later.”

A spokeswoman for condo king Bob Rennie, who is handling the sales, said Tuesday a major marketing campaign will begin later this month for the unsold units.

“Incentives are yet to be determined, but they could include things like free washers and dryers,” she told The Province.

The suites, which are priced anywhere from $400,000 to $5 million each, have been subject to the HST since July.

Although Vancouver made 120 rental units available for workers such as police officers, firefighters and nurses, only 61 were taken as of June [no up-to-date figures were provided by the city or Rennie]. Nevertheless, Robertson said he expects that to change.

“Many more people are applying for spots than are available,” he told reporters last week.

The city’s investment in the project includes a $750-million loan plus undisclosed interest payments, $120 million still owed to the city for the land and a $110-million outlay for 252 affordable housing units.

Today, six months after the 2010 Olympic Games, the village resembles a ghost town.

Walking down the empty streets last Saturday afternoon, it was hard to find anyone actually living in the $1.2-billion former Olympic Village.

Even the security guards conceded there’s not much to do at the “showcase” Millennium Water development, where only 254 condos have been sold.

“It’s weird,” said Heather Eddy, who recently moved into a rental unit at West 1st and Columbia. “It’s almost living in a futuristic police state. All you see is police cars driving around and people on bicycles.”

Eddy, a 24-year-old pastry chef, said she believes the village was opened too early.

“It’s very much like a ghost town,” she added. “I’m scared to walk down the streets at night.”

Near the renovated Salt Building, Mitch Williams described himself as a “lookie loo” checking out the views.

“This place is spooky,” said Williams, a 41-year-old telecom worker from Port Moody. “It’s like a sci-fi movie. I don’t see any patio furniture and there’s nothing on the balconies.”

The Millennium complex totals 1,108 units made up of condos, rental units and affordable housing, but its new, $36-million, 45,000-square-foot community centre seemed almost deserted Saturday, with just a handful of people inside its enormous gym.

Cuong Tran and Lisa Nguyen said they’re enjoying living in their two-bedroom condo, which they bought in May 2008, well before the Olympics and the economic meltdown.

They just wish there were more people living there.

“It was empty but it’s getting fuller now,” said Nguyen, 23. “I know it’s going to take a little while.”

Meanwhile, lawyer Bryan Baynham said she has 11 clients who want to get deposits back on 13 suites in the village.

Vancouver Coun. Geoff Meggs said the city is trying its best to maximize the return on taxpayers’ massive pre-Olympics bailout of the project.

“It’s too early to say how we’ve succeeded, and a lot depends on the pace of sales,” he said. “It shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody that the risk remains.

“I have no doubt that, down the road, this will be seen as a successful project ­— but we’re in strange economic times.”

BY THE NUMBERS:

The City of Vancouver is owed $170 million for the land on which the Olympic Village sits.

The city holds a $750-million loan for the village and is currenty paying interest on the loan.

The city’s affordable-housing component of the project cost $110 million, $45 million over budget.

Total: $1.03 billion

NUMBER OF UNITS

254 condos sold so far.

483 condos remaining to be sold.

61 units being rented (as of June).

Another 58 units available for rent.

252 affordable-housing units available.

Total: 1,108 units


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: olympic; taxpayer; vancouver; village

The Olympic Village, now known as Millennium Water, a condo development along False Creek seems pretty much a ghost town.
1 posted on 09/08/2010 7:43:39 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Are they asking too much for the properties? I don’t like seeing a project like this go belly up, but the market-place needs to work. Best to get those units filled ASAP, before the area melts down and becomes a total loss.


2 posted on 09/08/2010 7:49:35 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (UniTea! It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How about this;

Millennium Under Water at False Creek, come and experience living Retro-poor; which like most of Olympic spending and expense are a waste.


3 posted on 09/08/2010 7:51:11 PM PDT by ntmxx (I am not so sure about this misdirection!)
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To: SeekAndFind

If you value your money and lifestyle, never, ever let the Olympics come to your city. I first learned that from family in Montreal. They’re STILL paying for the 1976 games.


4 posted on 09/08/2010 7:52:06 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: SeekAndFind

What made them think that a city the size of Vancouver (578,000 in the city proper, 2.1 million including the outlying areas) could sell ELEVEN HUNDRED luxury condos?


5 posted on 09/08/2010 7:53:55 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: SeekAndFind
They had no problem with the taxpayer subsidized ones...

Although Vancouver made 120 rental units available for workers such as police officers, firefighters and nurses, only 61 were taken as of June [no up-to-date figures were provided by the city or Rennie]. Nevertheless, Robertson said he expects that to change.

6 posted on 09/08/2010 7:54:05 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <--- My Fiction/ Science Fiction Board)
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To: SeekAndFind
They had no problem with the taxpayer subsidized ones...

Although Vancouver made 120 rental units available for workers such as police officers, firefighters and nurses, only 61 were taken as of June [no up-to-date figures were provided by the city or Rennie]. Nevertheless, Robertson said he expects that to change. oops

7 posted on 09/08/2010 7:54:20 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com <--- My Fiction/ Science Fiction Board)
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To: SeekAndFind
252 affordable-housing units available.

Translation: Soon to become the projects.

Vancouver is the most dangerous Asian city outside of Asia.

8 posted on 09/08/2010 7:55:08 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: SeekAndFind

Yeah, if I was looking at $5,000,000 condos, I’d only take one with a free washer and dryer.


9 posted on 09/08/2010 7:55:14 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: SeekAndFind

Drat. If only the Chicago got the Olympics, then they could have $1 billion in unsold real estate.


10 posted on 09/08/2010 7:58:12 PM PDT by Question Liberal Authority (Worst. Post-Racial President. EVER.)
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To: buccaneer81
never, ever let the Olympics come to your city.

Do you or anybody else know whether an Olympic has actually :
1) Made money for a city
2) All the infrastructure put in place for the games have been put to good use after the affair was over

ANYBODY? ANYBODY? BUELLER ?
11 posted on 09/08/2010 7:58:52 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: buccaneer81

RE: Vancouver is the most dangerous Asian city outside of Asia.


In what sense ? They’ve always been ranked near the top as one of the most livable cities in the world...

See here for instance :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_most_livable_cities


12 posted on 09/08/2010 8:01:08 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: buccaneer81

DEPENDS upon WHERE in Vancouver.....at least when we lived there for 18 months (On False Creek)....there were good parts and bad parts.....but, there are cities in the US I’d not want to hang out in or walk thru, either.


13 posted on 09/08/2010 8:10:27 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Profitmaking is a VIRTUE, not a Vice.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t know of any city that has come out ahead being an Olympic host city.


14 posted on 09/08/2010 8:11:02 PM PDT by bwc2221
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To: SeekAndFind

“Do you or anybody else know whether an Olympic has actually :
1) Made money for a city
2) All the infrastructure put in place for the games have been put to good use after the affair was over.”

Salt Lake City made money and certainly has a running train system that will take you to parts of the city. I took the rail to interview at the Unviersity of Utah Hospital.


15 posted on 09/08/2010 8:14:49 PM PDT by CaspersGh0sts
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To: buccaneer81

An increasing number of US cities are taking that stance with professional sports teams; it is not worth it in the long run. Before, people looked at it as a sign that a city had “arrived”; now they see it as a feeble attempt to bolster a sagging economy. The Yankees, Giants/Jets, and Cowboys are all having a tough time filling their brand-new stadiums.


16 posted on 09/08/2010 8:23:47 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: bwc2221

RE: I don’t know of any city that has come out ahead being an Olympic host city.


I found one Olympic host city that actually came out with a profit. It’s LOS ANGELES in 1984 under the management of Peter Ueberroth.

See here :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Ueberroth#The_1984_Olympics

Under the heading : The 1984 Olympics

“For five years Ueberroth served as the organizer of the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. He was a prominent figure in the games, receiving the Olympic Order in gold at its conclusion. Due to the success of the games, he was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1984. Under Ueberroth’s leadership and management, the first privately financed Olympic Games resulted in a surplus of nearly $250 million. This was subsequently used to support youth and sports activities throughout the United States.”


17 posted on 09/08/2010 8:26:14 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

We just came back from a five day trip to Vancouver to visit our daughter. We’ve never seen so much high-priced real estate! The number of million dollar homes in regular neighborhoods is just astounding. The Globe & Mail says that the big six cities in Canada are having a real estate bubble just like the US did. Looks like a big crash may be in the works.

The city of Vancouver is nothing but residential high rises — there are almost NO commercial skyscrapers and you don’t see any industrial parks around the city. It’s weird because it appears that the city is based on nothing but tourism, retail, some natural resources, some banking and finance and, I hear, some growing Internet firms. It is hard to figure out where all the jobs are to support the number of people living there.


18 posted on 09/08/2010 8:29:17 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: goodnesswins

Last weekend, I walked down Hastings between Chinatown and Gas Town. My God, was that a horrible experience! I’ve never seen so many wretched people in one place.


19 posted on 09/08/2010 8:31:06 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: SeekAndFind

They are not even new units as they’ve already been lived in.


20 posted on 09/08/2010 8:32:19 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Political correctness in America today is a Rip Van Winkle acid trip.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

HA...that IS one of the worst places in Vancouver.....I lived not far from that....across the street from the big globe....in a condo, on the 8th floor....on one side was “Good” Vancouver....on the other was “Bad” Vancouver...


21 posted on 09/08/2010 8:34:34 PM PDT by goodnesswins (Profitmaking is a VIRTUE, not a Vice.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yep, Salt Lake City made 101-million. There have been a few. Barcelona and Sydney claimed to have broken even, but those were just the committeees. Overall, they cost money.


22 posted on 09/08/2010 8:36:09 PM PDT by CaspersGh0sts
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To: kearnyirish2
An exception is the Columbus Blue Jackets who have received zero public money for the team or the arena. On the contrary, the team has become the driving force behind the Arena District.

The team is...mediocre, but they drive lots of cash into the economy.

23 posted on 09/08/2010 8:43:24 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

RE: Hastings between Chinatown and Gastown


I’ve been to Vancouver several times ( friends and family live in Richmond ). But I’ll talk about the above place...

The Downtown Eastside of Vancouver continues to be an area where street smarts are required, but by and large the ongoing gentrification of the area has tamed it’s most outstanding problems.

Property crimes have dropped, as well as violent crime. The area is now quite habitable and is in fact the best neighborhood in the city.

For tourists wanting to party the Vancouver way, Gastown is it. The bridge and tunnel paradises of Granville street and Yaletown can’t compare. Come on down, no need to fear, just remember to keep your city wits about you.

I’ve been to the immediate area and I often have problems with the street animals, but I’m used to it and have learned to cope with it by developing “Street Smarts”.

Yes, the Downtown Eastside is hell. Vancouver has a higher crime rate than New York city these days (Take this from a New Yorker), so if you feel like a big confident smart ass, please consider that fact first. Never park a car in the area, you are better off to park far away and walk in or take a cab. It’s as simple as that. Your car will be broken into.

Although I would say that generally you will be OK during daylight hours, although scared, you should NEVER walk along or use a street that Crosses Hastings between Cambie and Main, after dark.

‘Nuff said.


24 posted on 09/08/2010 8:45:48 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Last weekend, I walked down Hastings between Chinatown and Gas Town. My God, was that a horrible experience! I’ve never seen so many wretched people in one place.

Bruno Gerussi is sorely missed.

25 posted on 09/08/2010 8:49:36 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: DoughtyOne

I took a look at their web site. The smallest units are 574 ft^2. The article said units started at 400k, so I would say they are charging WAY TOOOOO MUCH!


26 posted on 09/08/2010 9:18:48 PM PDT by chaos_5
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To: SeekAndFind

That’s it!! A sci-fi movie.

There’s precedent. “Logan’s Run” was largely filmed in a just-completed shopping mall.

“Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” was largely filmed in the brand new Century City office complex.

Perhaps a remake of “The Prisoner”?


27 posted on 09/08/2010 9:23:41 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Last weekend, I walked down Hastings between Chinatown and Gas Town. My God, was that a horrible experience! I’ve never seen so many wretched people in one place.

I was there recently and it wasn't great - but many streets in San Francisco are a lot worse.

28 posted on 09/08/2010 9:24:31 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ( "The right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended." - Rowan Atkinson)
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To: Slump Tester
Yeah, if I was looking at $5,000,000 condos, I’d only take one with a free washer and dryer.

Yeah, if they'd just throw in a free microwave as well, that would really seal the deal.

29 posted on 09/08/2010 9:30:33 PM PDT by Bob
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To: SeekAndFind
The Olympic Village, now known as Millennium Water, a condo development along False Creek seems pretty much a ghost town.

Whatever the relevant financial factors in this situation may be, it seems clear that there was a major irony perception deficiency among the planners... /g

30 posted on 09/08/2010 9:46:03 PM PDT by tarheelswamprat
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To: kearnyirish2
In pro sports, it's like holding a gun to the head of the public. I understand that New Jersey tax payers still owe $100,000,000 on the ‘wornout’ Jets stadium. Add that to the brand new albatross hanging around the NJ tax payers neck.
Meanwhile their star defensive cornerback gets how many million dollars to sign after holding out. Then there is Hawnesworth in Washington. He has a contract for what, $90 million, but does not want to participate in practice.

Yeah, I really want to buy a $10 beer and a $5 hot dog to support this crap. No way I could afford the ticket and parking.

31 posted on 09/08/2010 10:00:35 PM PDT by JimmyMc
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To: JimmyMc

I heard a report on ESPN this weekend about how blackouts were a real possibility this year at some (unnamed) stadiums in big markets because they haven’t sold out the games.


32 posted on 09/08/2010 10:23:07 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: VanShuyten

“I heard a report on ESPN this weekend about how blackouts were a real possibility this year at some (unnamed) stadiums in big markets because they haven’t sold out the games.”

####

Anyone else feel the entire, increasingly expensive pro sports construct, is a gigantic house of cards about to come tumbling down?


33 posted on 09/08/2010 10:26:14 PM PDT by EyeGuy
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To: SeekAndFind

I know someone who bought a condo in Park City during the glut after the 2004 Olympics. Even in the current market, it’s worth twice what they paid for it.


34 posted on 09/08/2010 11:07:00 PM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order)
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To: chaos_5

Sounds like it doesn’t it, unless it’s Manhattan.


35 posted on 09/09/2010 4:30:57 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (UniTea! It's not Rs vs Ds you dimwits. It's Cs vs Ls. Cut the crap & lets build for success.)
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To: buccaneer81

Understood; I’m sure there are others as well. Often the ones that don’t want the teams are ones that have been burned by them in the past. The reality is that they’re not the greatest jobs being created, and the way cities have sold their souls with incentives has them scratching their heads five years later wondering why they ever did it. I live within a few miles of Giants/Jets stadium, and the new Red Bulls (soccer) stadium, the Continental Arena, and the Prudential Center, and I have to tell you the area really doesn’t benefit from having them there. 2 of them are actively competing with each other (the Arena and the Pru Center, which really wasn’t needed at all but was a way for politicians and companies to pretend they care about black people in Newark); there is simply not enough business for both of them, and even after the Pru Center poached the NJ Devils they still can’t get people to stay in Newark after dark. They tried to strongarm the Nets into playing in Newark, but I think they’ve been unsuccessful so far. They initially provide some benefit as far as costs of municipal services, but that doesn’t last.


36 posted on 09/09/2010 5:03:08 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: JimmyMc

The north Jersey venues aren’t for families or individuals; they are now designed for corporate sponsorship with more boxes, restaurants, etc. They are priced beyond the average person in the area (see the Giants & Jets both having a hard time selling season tickets, when in the past at least the Giants had a waiting list of more than 10 years); the only individuals they want buying tickets are foreign tourists from NYC. When the brand-new mall next to the new stadium failed to open on time (and still hasn’t), the politicians admitted it was for “foreign tourists’” shopping; the only Americans in there would be to work the registers, clean the bathrooms, gurad the parking lot, etc.


37 posted on 09/09/2010 5:08:14 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: kearnyirish2
they still can’t get people to stay in Newark after dark

The same reason the Whalers left Hartford. The criminal element in both cities killed them

Look at Columbus. A bad team, but still makes money for the Arena District

38 posted on 09/09/2010 8:45:32 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: buccaneer81

I didn’t know that about Hartford; I remember seeing them play the Devils years ago. The Devils had a hard enough time selling tickets in their old arena, but it was accessible and safe (when they won the Stanley Cup their “parade” was literally in the arena parking lot because they weren’t close to any city; when the Rangers won they got a parade down Fifth Avenue). NJ has this mentality that if they force people onto mass transit, they’ll just go along with it, but it has never worked out like that. They certainly weren’t going to be waiting for a train in Newark at night.


39 posted on 09/10/2010 3:00:55 AM PDT by kearnyirish2
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