City of Vancouver bails out Olympic Village

Remember that rumour that the construction of the Olympic Village is running into credit difficulties and the various assurances that taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook?

Well funny thing.. It turns out the city has authorized a (until now) secret $100 million rescue for the financial troubled Olympic Village.  Article in the Globe and Mail:

The new financial obligations are on top of a $190-million loan guarantee the city had to give Fortress Investment Group, which has provided a $683-million loan to Millennium to build the 1,100-unit village.

The village is destined to become a residential complex after the Olympics but most of the condominiums have yet to be sold. Meantime, the value of real estate in Vancouver has plunged in the past several months and is expected to continue to decline over the next couple of years.

This has raised questions about the future of the project and whether Millennium, which agreed to pay the city $193-million for the land on which the village is being built, can still make the venture financially viable.

The latest revelations come despite assurances over the last several weeks by civic officials that financing around the project was not a concern. Other civic officials stated publicly there had not been any changes in the agreement the city had with Millennium – even after council had secretly agreed to forward the company and/or its lender up to $100-million to keep the project afloat.

Now you’re all real estate speculators.  This deal is of course, not without a bit of controversy:

Details of the city’s involvement in bailing out the project’s cash-strapped developer have until now been kept secret. Councillors are under a publication ban and have been told they face serious repercussions if they discuss publicly the decisions taken at the in camera meeting.

Growing controversy around the project also appears to be behind the yet-to-be announced resignation of the city’s chief financial officer, Estelle Lo. Ms. Lo tendered her resignation recently after months of apparently expressing concerns the city might be assuming too much financial risk in an effort to meet its obligation to get the Olympic housing built on time, according to a source.

Now that we’re all investors in this project, I find myself getting excited about the future of Vancouver real estate. I’m sure eventually this deal will pay off big – In Montreal it only took 30 years to pay off their Olympic sized debt, and just look at some of the great post-Olympic buying opportunities in Sidney!

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mad
mad
11 years ago

Why should any city business be put under a publication ban?

If they have nothing to hide then they should be made public!

Scullboy2
Scullboy2
11 years ago

Bdk says "If you don’t work in a unionised capitalist warhouse, or whatever it was you said yesterday, then where do you work?"

Good job Bdk good enough to prove my point nobody every seen a dumb like you,Nobody!!!!!

scullboy
11 years ago

I'm impressed krrrish…. yup… that's a dead – on imitation of me. Seriously!

You even had me fooled….

Warren
Warren
11 years ago

ICBC: Anybody who wants private insurance (and private Hydro for that matter) only needs to look to the free-market provinces of Ontario and Alberta to see why they are bad ideas.

RRSP: I'm contributing more than ever this year, even more than my yearly limit, getting into my backlog… hooray for me.

Olympic Village: The city sold this land for something like $500/buildable square foot. Sound too good to be true? Guess what…

bdk
bdk
11 years ago

What are you trying to say browntown?

That you work in a warehouse and pay $1.60 to bc tel?

Stick with one name, it's hard enough trying to figure out what you're trying to say and when you start pretending to be scullboy and accusing myself of writing incoherent, stupid posts it just makes you look even stupider (if it's possible to look stupider than you already do).

Scullboy2
Scullboy2
11 years ago

I mean #47 is bdk in union.

Scullboy2
Scullboy2
11 years ago

OPPS that was BDK similar to thaz waz BUZZY KE,see nobody ever seen a zumb i mean dumb like you,Nobody!!!!!

Completely OT
Completely OT
11 years ago

To all the ICBC complainers… I have the 40% discount and it still works out cheaper for me to park my car and use the co-op cars whenever I want. Plug plug… they're great!

http://www.cooperativeauto.net/

scullboy
11 years ago

Sincere apologies since I just posted this on yesterday's thread, but I wanted to be absolutely sure Krrrris/SatV/Browntown/whatever read it…. I have finally come to see his usefulness, and where he's coming from and I sincerely want to thank him: Ah krrrrrish/nobody/brownstreak….. Why aren’t I surprised that you are part of a union. It makes perfect sense, really. I imagine you bitterly resent paying union dues, don’t you? Yet the union is the only thing standing between you and Wal-mart type wages. OF COURSE you’re in a union! I mean who on God’s earth would hire you? Your English is appalling. I know preschoolers who can write better then you can. I think most people here would agree that you couldn’t possibly hold down a white collar job for longer then.. 15 minutes tops. And of course you dream of… Read more »

scullboy
11 years ago

Ah krrrrrish/nobody/brownstreak….. Why aren't I surprised that you are part of a union. It makes perfect sense, really. I imagine you bitterly resent paying union dues, don't you? Yet the union is the only thing standing between you and Wal-mart type wages. OF COURSE you're in a union! I mean who on God's earth would hire you? Your English is appalling. I know preschoolers who can write better then you can. I think most people here would agree that you couldn't possibly hold down a white collar job for longer then.. 15 minutes tops. And of course you dream of "capitalism" and being the next Donald Trump. Of course you're a cheerleader for "the free market". Your betters filled your head with silly notions of getting rich; they appealed to your greed and knew your stupidity would blind you. They… Read more »

islander
islander
11 years ago

Macronomics, micro-brain. "People forget we used to have private insurance in BC. Guess what. It didn’t work. While ICBC is not the best run crown corp out there, in general, it is serving its purpose." Yah, if by "serving its purpose," you mean over-charging and under-insuring. I own an 04 Ranger and an older B2300. I pay $1200 through Alberta Motor Association for both. When I called a Victoria insurer, they quoted me $800 for the Ranger (comparable). When I sat down later with the agent, she insisted the computer was telling her I lived in a city on the island I'd never even visited, much less resided. Magically, the quote (for about half the liability coverage) went up to $1300. I practically threw the plate at her head and told her I would be buying insurance in the Soviet… Read more »

Dr Topper
Dr Topper
11 years ago

"But think about it, I pay $1400/yr. My car is worth $45K."

Ya, so don't you think that it's a bit odd that my $2500 clunker also costs $1400 a year to insure through ICBC (36 years accident free and counting).

observer
observer
11 years ago

The secretive air which permeates this bail out will come back to haunt them.

blueskies
blueskies
11 years ago

eeeeeha!

i'm predicting the friday free-for-all is gonna have 360 posts when all is said and done……

everybody and their dog is out tonite!!

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

ICBC should only be for BC – born citizens and First Nations…the rest of you can go back to where ya came from and pay double, ya freeloaders.

wizardofozziejurock
wizardofozziejurock
11 years ago

Here's what I said about the 2010 Olympics back two years ago: wizardofozziejurock said… No offence to you party animals, but that "great party" thing is really getting tired. Personally, I manage to have great parties without having to pay the government to organize them for me. Moreover, – several hundred thousand people jamming up public spaces isn't a party, it's a mob. – any event being attended by thousands of security personnel isn't a party, it's a crowd control excercise for law enforcement. – any event open to people from all walks of life isn't a party, it's a visit to a shopping mall – any event with corporate sponsorship isn't a party, it's a public relations campaign. – anyone who attends an event that's going to be paid for by future generations isn't a party-goer, they're a freeloader.… Read more »

patriotz
patriotz
11 years ago

Looks like we have an election issue? Timing couldn't be better:

Vancouver mayoralty candidate Gregor Robertson has called for complete public disclosure of the city's financial obligations for construction of the multi-million dollar Olympic Village following a Globe and Mail report that the city at a recent closed-door meeting authorized lending up to $100-million to rescue the financially-strapped project.

“We need to know what is going on here exactly,” Mr. Robertson told reporters after a mayoralty campaign forum.

Whatever else you want to say about them, Robertson can't be blamed for the deal, and Ladner can.

comfy renter
comfy renter
11 years ago

I guess the acronym B.P.O.E (best place on earth)

beat out the commities first choice of slogan for bc

best place own our real estate B.P.O.O.R. 🙂

richard
richard
11 years ago

isn't it the olympic village is named "millenium water"? shouldn't they now change it to "millenium under water"?

dingus
dingus
11 years ago

That site linked to by crabman elicited a low whistle from me, I tell you.

Keeping an Eye on Th
11 years ago

"The village is destined to become a residential complex after the Olympics but most of the condominiums have yet to be sold. Meantime, the value of real estate in Vancouver has plunged in the past several months and is expected to continue to decline over the next couple of years."

From the Globe story :

<a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081106.BCMASON06/TPStory/?query=city+of+vancouver” target=”_blank”>http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081106.BCMASON06/TPStory/?query=city+of+vancouver

Nobody!!!!!
Nobody!!!!!
11 years ago

That was a part of Vancouver 2010 Olympics bid City has to guarantee that Olympic Village have be built,Peter Ladner says"Tax payers won't be on the hook"CBC Gloria Macarenco hooking up Kirk William in news room
http://www.cbc.ca/mrl3/8752/bc/ondemand/video/bc-

bcubbins
bcubbins
11 years ago

The city council has long had in-camera meetings when dealing with things like property negotiations.

Yes, but once negotiations are complete and a deal has been signed, there's normally no reason to keep the details of the deal secret.

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

Ultersman is back now vancouver real estate will never go down,welcome back ultersman.

Ulsterman
Ulsterman
11 years ago

Let's bash ICBC some more. OK, my adult family in the UK (ages range from 30-67) pay approximately C$500 per year for fully comprehensive car insurance. My brother-in-law is a motorcycle fan and has 3 in his garage. He has one policy that costs about C$450 / year and covers all three – because they figure he can only ride one at a time on the public highway.

I'm in my mid 30's here, have 43% roadstar and pay $850 JUST for the most absurdly basic $2m liability. On top of this i have to buy collision and comp. Sure, the youbg drivers in the UK pay high premiums, but guess what, they have lots of accidents.

Insurance in BC is a very expensive joke.