Toxic smoke at the Electra

Something strange afoot at the Electra condo building downtown:

The incident began Friday when contractor True North Concrete was brought in to raise some tiles that had sunk, said Bentz.

A material that was initially reported to be urethane was injected below the tiles but around suppertime tenants reported a noxious odour and nausea, prompting the hazardous materials call which resulted in downtown traffic chaos.

Then a chemical reaction of some sort resulted in smoke.

Firefighters dealt with the smoke but the smoke re-emerged Saturday afternoon.

“We still don’t know what is down there,” said Bentz of the area where the injection of material occurred.

“We still don’t know how far it goes because it’s not on any blueprints,” he said.

Vancouver deputy fire chief Mark Engler could not identify the materials used by the contractor but did say “they pumped for longer than they should have.”

The building will now be tested floor by floor for toxic residue before residents can move back in. Read the full article over at the Province website.

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jesse
10 years ago

@The other Garth: "No currency has come close to match that."

Real estate tracks inflation too. With dividends (rents) to boot. My point is if you want an inflation-tracking asset, might as well get some yield out of it as well. Gold offers inflation tracking but no yield; it's a speculative play, as has been accented by other commenters here.

The other Garth
The other Garth
10 years ago

@jesse: Jesse, chosing a condo over a few pounds of gold is wise, seeing as a pound of gold is only worth about $19k at the moment.

I've held gold for the last 7 years, but don't consider myself a gold bug. I do see it as a very long term store of value. After all, it has lasted several millennia as a store of value. No currency has come close to match that.

The problem now is our tendency towards bubbles caused by irrational speculators and meddling governments. I wouldn't be surprised if at some point gold loses 50%+ in a few days. That shouldn't be taken as a slam against gold, though. EVERY asset class has potential to be a bubble, and experience a resulting crash.

patriotz
10 years ago

@Devore:

everything is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

That's what it's worth to the seller. Are the Nortel shares that someone bought for $100 still worth that to them?

"Price is what you pay, value is what you get".

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
10 years ago

Transglobe has a whole bunch of Craiglist listings saying:

"FOR 1 YEAR LEASE FIRST MONTH IS FREE"

(some have misspellings like "fisrt")

This seems to apply to all their apartments in New West and Fraser Valley.

Sounds like a corporate policy, and a hidden rent reduction.

No More Gordocracies
No More Gordocracies
10 years ago

U.S. home prices will resume price decline after year of banking and government intermission. Multiple signs point to another year of slow home price growth and U.S. home values over priced by 20 percent.

http://www.mybudget360.com/us-home-prices-will-fa

VHB
VHB
10 years ago

September Projections for month totals

Days elapsed so far 13

Days remaining 8

Average Sales this month 106

Average Listings this month 230

Projected sell/list 45.9%

SALES

Projected month end total 2216 +/- 137

95% Conf Interval lower bound 2079

95% Conf Interval upper bound 2354

NEW LISTINGS

Projected month end total 4830 +/- 180

95% Conf Interval lower bound 4650

95% Conf Interval upper bound 5010

MONTHS OF INVENTORY

Inventory as of August 31st 15962

MoI at this sales pace 7.20

realpaul
realpaul
10 years ago

Mayor Moonbeam is 'clueless' about what is happening at The Electra. Is the entire building contaminated with hazardous chemical poison ? The entire building may have to be condemned if it is….who will pay…who will want to live there now? Are the children safe? Does Moonbeam give a shit…or is he just waffling until another 'story' distracts the scrutiny. Meanwhile the owners of The Electra have air space rights worth zero. Timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !!!!!!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/brit

jesse
10 years ago

@Devore: "everything is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it."

Like a Yaletown condo. But not quite. At least a condo has a yield. I don't know much about gold other than it's shiny but if you give me a Sophie's Choice moment, I'll pick the condo over a few pounds of gold bars.

Devore
Devore
10 years ago

@Best place on meth: Pssh, these youngins know nothing. No perspective. When CNN is raving about gold and there are lineups around the block from the VBCE, I'll think about worrying about a bubble.

Devore
Devore
10 years ago

@House:

gold tells us a lot about how much gold speculators are willing to pay. It’s not something that CBs track that closely, any more than other precious metals, anyways.

You could say that of anything, because everything is worth only as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

CBs are quite concerned about the price of gold, which they put on their balance sheet, at least those that still have any left. Funny, they don't put copper on there.

Devore
Devore
10 years ago

@Dave: RE: Wages, inflation and BOC – I think the BOC would be happy to see the scenario you posted. Negative real interest rates, growing real wages and inflation (aka debt devaluation) would be a trifecta of good news. Central banks are talking about raising their inflation targets to help devalue debt. Inflation in amounts required to devalue debt to any significant degree will simply not happen, nor would you want it to. And what makes you think wages would rise to match inflation anyways? Lets face it, the average person has seen minimal gains in the last 15 years at least, in real terms, and that's with a supposedly roaring economy. Any likely monetary inflation through increased treasuries issuance will just keep doing what it's doing today: increasing the price of commodities and cost of living, while keeping real… Read more »

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
10 years ago

@bugspray:

I can't remember as far back as 1980 but I'll take your word for it.

By the way, in 1979-80 gold went into it's final parabolic blow-off phase by gaining 122% in the final 4 months before it crashed.

We're nowhere near that yet.

House
House
10 years ago

@Best place on meth: "What is there to argue about"

All time highs? If that isn't a bullish signal I don't know what is. 🙄

Peter Pan
10 years ago

There are 7 units for sale at the Electra…

Wonder how quickly those listings will move?

How many other shoddily built/renovated condo developments will be discovered over the next few years…

bugspray
bugspray
10 years ago

@Best place on meth: Ah yes, I remember the last time gold was making all time highs every day.. That was right before it crashed in the eighties.

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
10 years ago

Some pretty nice landscaping here, no?

http://www.mls.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId

That tree is a masterpiece.

This lovely home has just been reduced again after 143 days on the market, from $679 to $629 and now to $609.

Investor alert!!! Offers, anyone?

Best place on meth
Best place on meth
10 years ago

@House:

Gold is making new all time highs every day.

What is there to argue about? That it isn't?

House
House
10 years ago

@Dave: "he implication is that the buyers who win out will have a higher percentile income"

A subtle shift of the debate. Land value is not the real portent of Vancouver's future. Properties with high density are the canary in the coal mine. There is nothing left to gain from density increases, only rental income on a depreciating asset. Your cited vacancy rates and supposed in-pouring of immigrants are meaningless because real rents on condos are flat. If low vacancy rates due to under-supply were really that low, we'd see rents increasing. Not. Happening.

Burpy
Burpy
10 years ago

@Anonymous: I don't think 1983 K Cars are too reliable.

Read this to learn about the virtues of cavaliers (and pontiac sunfires) http://www.metronews.ca/halifax/life/article/5398

Lots of good advice in that article for downsizing bulls.

House
House
10 years ago

@stagnate: gold tells us a lot about how much gold speculators are willing to pay. It's not something that CBs track that closely, any more than other precious metals, anyways.

stagnate
stagnate
10 years ago

house says: Looks like VCI has a good old fashioned gold bug infestation

gold should probably get more discussion than it does, the move in gold has been quite dramatic. gold tells us a lot about government debt and the fiat money system. deflation gets a lot of play on this site but massive reflation or outright inflation can't be completely discounted. the odds of a 50% increase in local real estate is about the same as a 50% crash. low, but possible.

Dave
10 years ago

@buff_butler: Some thoughts are your post: RE: Wages, inflation and BOC – I think the BOC would be happy to see the scenario you posted. Negative real interest rates, growing real wages and inflation (aka debt devaluation) would be a trifecta of good news. Central banks are talking about raising their inflation targets to help devalue debt. RE: Population – Interprovincial is a rounding error for total growth. RE: Affordability Shift – I agree and I think this is a multi-decade trend. A shift like this won’t happen overnight. But I do think it is real and that each successful peak of real estate affordability will be higher and higher. It’s just a consequence of the formula used. 30 years ago the ‘average family’ could afford a SFH in say Vancouver or Burnaby. Fast forward to today and we have… Read more »

Dave
10 years ago

@Junius: Your counterarguments are sound. However, I don't think we should look at these as being 'binary' issues. The debate is not whether these are effects or not, but rather the magnitude of the effect. A quick retort: 1. Wages are growing faster than inflation. That's a very positive sign, just after an economic downturn. Yes, some industries are suffering but wage growth is a broad measure. 2. Interest rates may or may not be low for a long time. The long bond rates support with my position. Either way, rates are low in the short term and likely the moderate term. 3. The rate of population growth has ticked up this past year. As long as we grow and have a low vacancy rate, there will be strong demand for new housing. 4. Don't hold your breath on construction… Read more »

SuperSmartBull
SuperSmartBull
10 years ago

@Junius:

I expect that they will drop at least 20% (and more).

20% is not a crash. And here I thought you were a hardcore bear!

House
House
10 years ago

Looks like VCI has a good old fashioned gold bug infestation. The more you argue with them the higher the price of gold.