Montreal pays it off!

Break out the champagne and poutine! Montreal has just paid off the olympic stadium built for the 1976 games, previously nicknamed ‘the big owe’. Thirty years is a nice round number don’t you think?

The original estimated cost for this beauty was $250 million, but the final cost came in a teensy bit higher at $1.5 billion. Now that they own it, whats the plan?

The Canadian Olympic Committee would not comment on the final payment. But CTV Montreal’s Tania Krywiak said “they did tell us they would continue to use the Olympic Stadium as a venue to host sporting events as well as commercial events.”

As far as the City of Montreal is concerned, “they tell us they are just not ready, they are not willing and don’t want to take over the Olympic stadium.”

Meanwhile here on the westcoast we’re gearing up for our own little party in just a few years, and despite the negativity of an earlier report from the BC auditor general, Vanoc CEO John Furlong says we’re on schedule and under budget!

Furlong said that despite the conflicting numbers, VANOC is still on track to finish on time. His assertion the project is so far under budget comes partly from the fact VANOC has yet to rely on any contingency money..

VANOC said it will try to finalize a detailed business plan next month, but it won’t be release the plan to the public until February or March 2007.

repairs: 1188 Richards st.

Asun sent in this shot of the residential tower at 1188 Richards currently under the leaky condo raincoat. Apparently this building was constructed with rainscreen technology.

The most recent info I can find on these apartments is in this post on pricetags from september:

on the matter of whether the designers and contractors of 1188 Richards have paid for the repairs, the answer is… not yet. Legal action is being initiated, which involves restoring many of the entities involved to the provincial corporate registry as they were evidently dissolved to try to avoid liability. I wouldn’t anticipate a settlement until the $8 million job is pretty much complete.

So its not just woodframe and stucco buildings that have water problems, concrete towers leak as well, and they’re expensive to fix.

send your leaky tarp covered condo pictures for the repair photo album to:

Yaletown Park ready to flip.

Apparently some people just don’t get the concept of a Vacation. VHB has stopped posting on the Vancouver Housing Blog, but we still see him lurking around the comment sections of boards around town. Clearly someone forgot to take his internet connection away.

I got a note from VHB just yesterday pointing out that Yaletown Park is now showing up on MLS. He’s also seeing a 25 unit jump in rental listings downtown, not including craigslist. I just checked craigslist and I count at least 15 units in Yaletown Park up for rent right now, most offering ‘free rent until Jan. 1st’.

Prices drops: Vancouver leads the way

News on the Canadian housing market is getting more bearish across the board: Reuters leads with the headline Canada’s Housing Sector Stalling, while over on the CBC it’s Average resale home price drops $3,500 in November. Thats the average drop last month in Canada, and though we’re still #1 for unaffordability in Vancouver, we’re also leading the way with the largest average price drop. November saw our number of sales decline by 21% while the average house price dropped by almost $29,000.

Thanks to ‘anonymous’ for the links.

A mighty wind

Whether you rent or own, last night was a good one to have shelter. Heavy rain and wind up to 157 km per hour (!) battered this little seaside town, stress-testing our construction and leaving thousands without power (i’m guessing you’re not reading this if you’re one of those). There’s trees down everywhere, the skytrain was down in surrey and a belltower blew off a school house downtown. Looks like the worst of it is over, I just hope this doesn’t mean more turbidity.

This weekends forecast: slushy snow.