Olympic Village buyers sue Vancouver City

There are now 62 buyers at the Vancouver Olympic village who are suing the city of Vancouver for what they claim is poor design and construction. This could be exactly why the City set up a shell corporation with no assets to sell these units after the developer went bankrupt. Remember that lawyers warning in the news a while back?

From the CBC:

A total of 62 owners involved in the lawsuit said their condos at the development — renamed The Village on False Creek — have a variety of complaints, including a lack of heat for four months. Others claim they can’t fit standard sized beds into their bedrooms or have leaky windows and ceilings.

And from CTV:

..He says that instead of the “extraordinary levels of luxury” promised in marketing for the Village, the owners discovered their suites aren’t much better than rental apartments.

In some cases, doors will slam into each other if they’re opened at the same time. In others, residents aren’t able to open their closet doors if anything larger than a double bed is placed in the master bedroom.

“Not being able to fit a queen-sized bed in a master bedroom is a major design flaw,” McMillan said.

Other residents have had problems with persistent leaky ceilings and faulty heating. A video released by the owners shows water dripping from light fixtures and smoke alarms.

“One guy’s had his entire ceiling ripped out because they can’t figure out why his heating system doesn’t work,” McMillan said.

Not much better than rental suites eh? Yeah I guess not. I made sure I could fit a king size bed in my master bedroom, and if my light fixtures started leaking or my heating system didn’t work I’d just up and move. It’s a good thing these people bought, since you can’t lose investing in real estate!

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Um, why would you buy a place without perhaps having a floor plan or doing some measurements; without opening some doors and such? This smacks of frenzy.


@Renting: Champlain Heights is like Surrey West. Nothing to be proud of IMO. Champlain Heights used to be a dump and False Creek West used to be an industrial slum. As for your assertion that False Creek South is "mostly leaky condos", well I don't recall it being any worse than other condos in the city built in that era in that respect. What is different is its wonderful design, which the City was responsible for. Both areas continue to bring in lease revenue for the city and contribute to its high credit rating which helps keep taxes down. I think that's plenty to be proud of. But I think the real reason these areas turned out so differently from the OV is that they were planned and built in a era where neither the City nor its residents thought… Read more »


@Jerry Boyle: "no cost to the taxpayer, just like you say — provided you assume the land in both cases was worthless" Actually even if the land is given away for free, the City is still in the hole a couple of hundred million dollars, and that's best case according to the numbers I see. They had to take out a significant loan just to cover the construction costs. Comparing the Village saga to Vander Zalm's giveaway of the Expo lands is questionable. The Expo land was assessed at significantly more than the price to which it was given to the developer. If the land was simply given away for, say, 10% less than assessment it would have been magnitudes better for the taxpayer, just not for Vander Zalm. The land would go through all the normal permit applications and… Read more »


@N: …..Is it you contention that nobody has ever bought a house with the intention of dying in it? …..

Through a quirk of timing, everyone who bought in the last few years certainly is now.

Jerry Boyle

Perhaps this has been mentioned already, but I was talking with someone who bought a discounted Olympic Village condo recently.

They mentioned they had to sign something waiving their right to sue the city over the purchase.


…..By that logic, people who pre-order Harry Potter Books from Amazon or iPads from Apple are speculators……

Curiously, a Harry Potter book actually has more square footage than the average Vancouver condo.

Jerry Boyle


Yes the Expo lands were given away, but at least the City ended up with a bunch on nice parks, a sea wall and for the most part the people who bought all the condos are happy. It didn’t cost the tax payers anything. On the other hand with the OV the City tried to maximize profits and we know how that turned out.

Consensus seems to be the Olympic village will wind up losing a couple hundred million dollars, which is in the ballpark of what the developer was supposed to pay for the city-owned land. So it'll end up much the same as the Expo lands giveaway — no cost to the taxpayer, just like you say — provided you assume the land in both cases was worthless.

Ralph Powers


Thanks for the info


@patriotz: ….Lesson: The problem isn’t having government involved in RE development, it’s having government headed by idiots involved in RE development…….

Show me a government not run by idiots, and I'll show you someone who doesn't recognize idiots.

CRASH JPMorgan-Chase

Mercedes-Benz to build plant in B.C.


@Devore: That might have come off a little strong… the Japanese government and agencies are busy dealing with the reactors. They don't have the luxury of speculating in front of cameras.

Releasing a bunch of information to the general population, who are as clueless about the mechanics and finer points of nuclear power as the rest of us, will be pointless. There is already lots of information available to people who know how to read it and what to do with it. Everyone else needs to stay calm, and not run around like it's the end of the world.

Anyways, off-topic night is off-topic, feel free to vote down.



True. When do we get the government that isn’t headed by idiots? Remember the OV was botched by 3 different administrations. I think the problem is the government owes too much to too many people so it makes it near impossible for them to do something like this successfully and not commit political suicide. Maybe in the past it was possible. Maybe it still is but I am not holding my breath.

Too many fingers in too many pies. In the past when governments assumed a more limited role, they could actually make a decision based on a plan, vision, facts and merits, without consulting with and asking for permission from dozens of parties, or trying to satisfy or optimize as many conflicting goals.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for the trend towards ever worse decision-making to reverse.


@arit: Tokyo alone has a population of 13 million. Even a hint of panic will result in a disaster of epic proportions. Government's there to keep order. No one can possibly hope to evacuate a metropolis of this size. Last thing they need is a half dozen 24 hour news channels full of "experts" speculating on dozens of scenarios, none of whom have a clue about what they're talking about.

AG Sage

@lol cats: How often are there clothed bears outside your window? Just out of curiosity . . .


lol cats

wow… out my window, i see bears dancing naked in the rain… must be march 17th.



Check the Local Gov't Act….

I realize Vancouver has its own Charter, but in general you have 6 MONTHS to file a claim against them or SOL.

They can also incorporate, have natural person powers, etc…aka the weasel powers are amazing


@patriotz: the plan was to use the profits from the Expo lands to pay for it. You know what happened to that plan. Yes the Expo lands were given away, but at least the City ended up with a bunch on nice parks, a sea wall and for the most part the people who bought all the condos are happy. It didn't cost the tax payers anything. On the other hand with the OV the City tried to maximize profits and we know how that turned out. The Expo land deal looks pretty good in comparison. Either way both involved bad government decisions and could have been done better to say the least. The one where the government got out early turned out better. As for the City being involved in RE projects, it master planned the development of False… Read more »


@arit: "Please take a look at this amazing video from Japan. It’s out of topic, but please, if you have any connections to the media, this word must spread. Apparently the Japanese govt stopped broadcasting information and this guy is very upset about it. Must watch!" Just got back from my Japanese sis in law's house and she had NHK on the whole time. There's so much info scrolling by my eyes are still watering. And there's this thing called the Internet. Here TEPCO has multiple updates during the day on the reactors: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/… This has regular updates on radiation levels in Tokyo: http://chottomatte.net/2011/03/16/tokyo-radiation… It's steadily falling by the way. At the peak it was about 0.0162 an hour, which would be 3.8 millirems over 24 hours if it hadn't waned. The average person gets about 40 millirems from the… Read more »


March 2011 month-end projections

Days elapsed so far 8

Days missing 5

Days remaining 10

5 Day Moving Average: Sales 151

5 Day Moving Average: Listings 274


Sales so far 1317

Projection for rest of month (using 5day MA) 2265

Projected month end total 3582 +/- 436


Listings so far 2459

Projection for rest of month (using 5day MA) 4103

Projected month end total 6562 +/- 161

Sell-list so far 53.6%

Projected month-end sell-list 54.6%


Numbers from Larry:

Dailies – List | Sold

Vancouver East & West*

New Listings – 60

Back On Market Listings -0

Price Changes -24

Sold Listings – 39

Vancouver All Areas*

New Listings – 251

Back On Market Listings – 5

Price Changes – 94

Sold Listings – 123

*Attached & Detached – Date: 03/17/2011 Time:18:46 Pacific YatterMatters.com:Courtesy REBGV. Data believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed.


bubbly says: The OV “investors” knew that there were problems with the building quality from the beginning, they knew that one million dollars can’t possibly buy luxury in this city and they knew that the developer can change the specs at any time.

well, they should have known. all condos are basically built to the same standard, in this town luxery means thicker granite on the tops and a fancy fridge, maybe an extra elevator at best. some of the original buyers were still involved in the marketing campaign last year, even the senator. the ethics don't look great on that, unless he really didn't know any better.

Extremely rich Van h


If you have bought a RE anywhere in Vancover,even it is near the famous Hasting+main public shithole,u won't worry too much your retirement.Although it's not too late for the next century but I bet u r an ordinary honky who treasures much in drug and beer more than securing your future.


@Ralph Powers:

I'm just going by my VOW, now 140 detached listed in Richmond since the weekend.

In real estate terms that's known as "a shitload".


@arit: "There is a connection to RE there somewhere but I can’t connect the dots at the moment."

Maybe this:

Japanese women and children are fleeing Tokio for Vancouver. http://bit.ly/fIJTzz and <a href="http://bit.ly/hcQXuN

” target=”_blank”>http://bit.ly/hcQXuN
Are quake refugees interested in million dollar crack shacks in a city that is also located in the Ring of fire?



Yeah, the guy's right. The last thing you want is people taking their minds off CNN style worse case scenarios. It would be more useful if everyone panicked.

That's the thing about this blog. We are all negative, all the time. The only time we consider anything as positive is when others are suffering. Now, I know that P points out that this suffering will bring about greater happiness in the long run, and that is true. But, basically, what is going on here is unhealthy. Who cares if we come out 100K ahead or have a bigger house, or whatever, if we spend the time getting there in a crap mood.

I'm out of here.