Friday free-for-all!

Friday has arrived, lets open up the weekend open topic discussion and news round-up.  Here are a few stories I’ve noticed this week:

Olympic Security costs quintiple to $1 billion
“Buy American” rule in stimulus package worries Harper
Good time to bet on the loonie?
IMF skeptical about Canadian governments rosy forecast
Deep, long recession predicted by CME CEO
A 42% mortgage rate on failed MacKenzie mill?
Record number getting jobless benefits in US
US New home sales fall to record low
Hyundai offers job loss assurance on new cars

So what are you seeing out there?  Post your news, links and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

note: any conversation on Vancouver, real estate or economics is allowed, please keep it civilized. When posting articles please only quote pertinent points and link to the original instead of pasting the entire article here. Pasting a link into your comment will automatically create a clickable hot-link. Linking to more than one external link within a single comment may cause your submission to get held up in the spam filter.

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NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

Lets make this topic an even 300 COMMENTS !!

ohmygod
ohmygod
11 years ago

I grew up at 8th and Alder in the '50's, False Creek was a playground of log booms and mills. The area has always been a swamp fed by run off from a fairly active stream that ran down from Grandview. The steel mills and the cooperage took up a lot of land and I seem to remember a big Bee Hive Burner down where the old Finning site used to be. basically the whole area was sloppy and wet mud, too muddy for brush. Interesting enough you mention 'was the site pre-loaded' good question, I don't remember seeing any pre-load on the site. They did clear down to quite a depth though and remove the industrial history for the most part. wheteher there was any bedrock down there is another question. If they drove down dolphins then obviously there… Read more »

bobsyeruncle
bobsyeruncle
11 years ago

NO -LYMPICS:

So they're not calling it a crash, it's just that thier buisness has gone to zero? Thats an intresting way to phrase it. Kind of like the cheerleader who swears her poo doesn't stink. Nice idea but you know she's full of shit.

I wouldn't call this a crash. It's like a market freeze. It's like everything's been held in suspended animation."

The public is refusing to buy and that has caused developers to put on the brakes.

Mr. McAllister, who heads the company Ledingham McAllister, said he was at a gathering recently that included every major developer in town. He asked them how many projects they were starting in 2009. The answer was zero.

And no one is sure when the current cocoon state will end.

bobsyeruncle
bobsyeruncle
11 years ago

NO -LYMPICS:

a history of False Creek

jesse
11 years ago

The Pope: I am loath to post rumours usually and this is second-hand, which is why I would love for a reporter whose job it is to suss out the details take it and run with it. This is from a co-worker who has a friend who is an engineer on site. The usual friend-of-a-friend stuff so be careful. He said this is the "next story" in 3-4 months. BTW the last rumour I threw out there turned out to be true (the Spectrum subletter douchebag) but it took a month for CBC to catch up and report on it. Just sayin'… 😉 but remember past performance is no indication of future returns… It isn't necessarily that OV is built on reclaimed land or whatever; there are ways of handling that. It's whether it was done properly in the first… Read more »

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

B.C. housing market in a deep freeze Developers worry about how to keep companies going during hibernation that some predict won't break until after the Olympics http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGA… QUOTE: VANCOUVER — Ward McAllister has been through five housing-market crashes since he finished university in 1982 and started working in development. But he and other B.C. developers have never seen anything quite like this one. "I wouldn't call this a crash. It's like a market freeze. It's like everything's been held in suspended animation." The public is refusing to buy and that has caused developers to put on the brakes. —- Comment: No more denying what the rest of us have been saying for MONTHS? ============== At a recent Urban Development Institute event focused on forecasting the future, developers Rob Macdonald and Michael Audain were optimistic in their speeches to the anxious… Read more »

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

290 jesse Says: February 2nd, 2009 at 1:22 pm RUMOUR ALERT!!! Olympic Village has foundation problems. Apparently the “piping” used to level and stabilize the ground may not have been done properly. Already there are foundation shifts. I hope a good muckraking reporter (like Kirk Williams) looking to earn his/her stars starts asking some questions with site engineers. It will be interesting to hear if this rumour is true. ———————————– FYI:( BTW error re: the previous posting) How many people know that the False Creek area was one of the CoV's city Dump sites way back when?. When BC Place and GM place was built..it was a gold mine for bottle collectors etc. when they excavated the site.All sorts of interesting stuff made up the non-indigenous fill material. Many of the flats surrounding False Creek had a variety of fill… Read more »

recessionwatch
recessionwatch
11 years ago

It also seemes 'we're all shopped out' Macy's lays off 7000 !

But now the good news IOC accepts Mike Phelps 'apology' fro getting photographed smoking dope! What a turn of events !! They hung Ross Rebegliatti out to dry for having smoked pot at some point prior to the games. A bit hypocritical. Is it because the IOC has big advertising plans for the Phelpster?

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

290 jesse Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 1:22 pm

RUMOUR ALERT!!!

Olympic Village has foundation problems. Apparently the “piping” used to level and stabilize the ground may not have been done properly. Already there are foundation shifts. I hope a good muckraking reporter (like Kirk Williams) looking to earn his/her stars starts asking some questions with site engineers. It will be interesting to hear if this rumour is true.

FYI:

How many people know that the False Creek area wa sone of the cV;s dumps way back when

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

One other thing: Richmond's new City Center Area Plan OCP has taken a major area of Richmond previously Light industrial /Commercial West of #3Rd and to the Oval and given it a High Density residential zoning. This created higher assessments based on "highest and best" use criteria . Many of the businesses pay "Triple Net", and are forced to pay the increased property taxes. However, the market for Hi Rise has tanked , but the OCP stays in place. Many of these businesses will be hit with a double whammy..slow economy yet forced to pay higher property taxes. My prediction is many will fold…many of them had stated that the area could easily turn into a ghost town. United Furniture , one of the larger businesses has already advertised it is closing forever. So, because of this condo mania, another… Read more »

jesse
11 years ago

RUMOUR ALERT!!!

Olympic Village has foundation problems. Apparently the "piping" used to level and stabilize the ground may not have been done properly. Already there are foundation shifts. I hope a good muckraking reporter (like Kirk Williams) looking to earn his/her stars starts asking some questions with site engineers. It will be interesting to hear if this rumour is true.

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

287 macchiato Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 1:08 pm

NO -LYMPICS: It was all over years ago for Mac’s, the day they discontinued the Slush Cat.

==============

Is that true? I haven't had a Slushie(or equivalent) in a while. I had read that these things were one of the chain convenience stores biggest sellers/profit margins.

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

Re Business closures;

The Xmas season has concluded, which many say puts a business in the black. Now they have to try and stay afloat for the next one.

Too many stores were selling overpriced items on credit..volatile brew.

I would keep an eye on the Rodeo Drive types of areas.ie Robson Street. High overhead, usually requires high end and high prices .

Lansdowne Mall has bee dead for years, even in the boom times. City allowed far too much retail expansion elsewhere, especially the Asian Malls like Abderdeen. Lansdowne Mall opened in the late 1970's and within 10 years came a major influx from Hong Kong.

Re: Lansdowne Mall future ?…will be gone in the future, the City OCP has other plans for that site. My guess is its gone in 10 years.

macchiato
macchiato
11 years ago

NO -LYMPICS: It was all over years ago for Mac's, the day they discontinued the Slush Cat.

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

271 Mr. Happyness and Joy Says: February 2nd, 2009 at 10:05 am NO -LYMPICS: The real estate market in Vancouver operated exactly in the same mathematical model as a typical pyramid scheme. As in every pyramid scheme the mathematics work against every new particapant as it becomes neccessary to suck in ever increasing numbers of new suckers. ========= Good post ! However, after the crash and burn…hopefully an economic autopsy is made and the " coroner " makes recommendations. The suspects should be identified and the appropriate blame levied. Much of this mess was , in essence , white collar crime, though they will never want to admit it. Speaking of " mathematical models " , I am still not sure how many really appreciate how such things as quants, derivatives etc inflitrated and affected the RE market..especially in the… Read more »

recessionwatch
recessionwatch
11 years ago

jesse: Strollers ….. makes me sssshuddder just thinking about it. Brrrrrrr, scary. all the same , good point. But no, I remember explicitly that there no vacancies at the the Landsdowne mall in Richmond for awhile, nor on 4th Ave in Vanc as I am there everyday. Now there are. And I certainly hope that Supraboys obsession with Chinese restaurants in Richmond is not a 'fetish' because that implies he's making sticky either in the washrooms or under the table between servings ( or gasp) with the servings. Heres a blast from the past which reminded me of the '80's recession here in vanc. MIAMI (WSVN) — The unemployment rate in South Florida is rising, officials said. While the rise serves as a sign of tough times, Miami Fire Rescue is hoping to change that around by accepting hundreds of… Read more »

jesse
11 years ago

"I also noticed a number a number of newly vacant store fronts in Landsdowne Mall and along #3 rd."

When my wife was pregnant we went to a mall and all of a sudden noticed how many strollers were being pushed around. It's not that there were suddenly more strollers, we were just more attuned to look for them. The vacant store fronts were always there, only now with a recession underway we start looking for the signs (or lack of signs lol). Same with for sale signs, dark lights in condos, etc. etc.

Same with Supraboy and his voyeuristic fetish with Richmond restaurateurs.

recessionwatch
recessionwatch
11 years ago

NO -LYMPICS:

I also noticed a number a number of newly vacant store fronts in Landsdowne Mall and along #3 rd. I've started noticing more of this since some else mentioned it on this blog over the week end. I saw several blank spaces along 4th ave in Kits/Vanc yesterday too which weren't there before.

It has just happened recently I think, because I didn't notice so many closings before.

Signs of things to come?

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

261 Patiently Waiting Says: February 1st, 2009 at 10:12 pm I was on Austin Ave. in Coquitlam today. Between Nelson and Marmont, opposite the Safeway, it seemed like half the storefronts were empty with paper in the windows. About six closed businesses. Two were Payday loan/cheque cashing places so won’t be missed. But also a cafe, a nicnac gift store, medical office etc. I said to my wife, “This is what a recession looks like.” ======================================= Absolutely right! I was driving around Richmond yesterday, and my eye caught a sign – less bunch of flouresecent tubes shining brightly above where a "MAC's Convenience Store" was. This MAC's Store is in the midst of medium -to- high density residential, , no competing convenience store for 1/2 mile in either direction and close to a High School. However, Signs on the windows… Read more »

global view
global view
11 years ago

It's becoming increasingly apparent that the ' China Miracle' was just a flash in the pan. Tens of millions return to poverty as markets die and hundreds of thousands of urban factories close in a continuing death spiral. Apparently the real economy of China was based on Westren spending and nothing to do with internal development. I would expect the Communist Party to crack down, shut the doors and reform the population ( again) to control the false expectations of the people.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/09

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/feb/02/ch

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

Re Canwest/Global:

Izzy Asper must be rolling in his grave.

His history as a media mogul is an interesting read.

However, his epitaph should include HUBRIS and perhaps believing his own press.

One "could" perhaps, blame this CanWest/Global mess on the old passing of the family business onto the next generation( ie the owners kids screw up the family legacy ), but even if Izzy was alive I think that Canwest could very likely go belly – up.

Like the RE meltdown, I think there will be a major media meltdown, given the media tied much of its own horse to the RE market and other unsustainable revenue generators.

Unfortunately that will likely lead to even greater consolidation of the media as they cobble together the survivors .

kissyourassgoodbye
kissyourassgoodbye
11 years ago

"It’s beyond foolish to think that you can make intelligent conclusions based on a random data point in a newspaper ad. That’s like quoting an idiot like Bob Rennie or Cameron Muir and concluding that Vancouver prices are merely “taking a breather”. No disrespect, but you would do well to leave analysis of foreign property markets to people who are actually knowledgeable about those markets" The information a realtard will give you and what is actually happening are two differant things, no matter what country your in. Well I shouldn't say that, I was in switzerland not long ago and the realtor agent looked like I'd farted a ripe one in his car when I mentioned negotiation, apparently, "they don't do that there". I knew the culture from having lived ther as a kid but I like to screw with… Read more »

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

Patriotz quote:

" The only way out of this is to sell to a greater fool. Well guess what, we’ve run out".

Exactly , and couldn't have said it better.

What people such as realturds , denialists (and trolls) simply do NOT get is that the RE ramp up was based on greater fools trying to find EVEN GREATER FOOLS, Pure and simple. There aren't any left, if nothing else the banks have cut them off, hence RE bubble is over and now deflating.

NO -LYMPICS
NO -LYMPICS
11 years ago

Re: Schools and planning communities IMHO , City planners and Local Gov'ts have F'd up big time. In the good old days, the catchment areas were your basic , middle – class neighbourhood. However, what I have noticed is when a SFH area converts to Higher density, a school is built in the neighbourhood , but few children are coming from these new developments, the logic being that these units do not attract families, but singles, retirees, professionals and child – less couples. In essence, they have forced parents with school age children to the periphery, resulting in school closures in some areas while concentrating school population in other schools. Unless the RE meltdown turns high – density areas into "quasi – housing projects " that bring back families based on affordability, Inner Cities will be dead zones as far… Read more »