Olympic village condos will be sold in months, not years, says receiver
VANCOUVER - Condo sales at Vancouver's troubled Olympic Village have soared since the prices were slashed, with the receiver now predicting the development will be sold out in a matter of months rather than years.
In a report released Wednesday, receivers Ernst and Young said when prices were cut by an average of 30 per cent in February, marketers hoped to sell 60 units in 60 days, but more than 120 condos were sold, with a value of more than $86 million.
The receiver said 70 per cent of the units will be occupied by the end of July and as a result, the number of suites that were going to be rented out have been reduced.
Those units that have been offered for rent have also been popular, with all 119 suites in three rental buildings already fully leased.
Ernst and Young also said 90 per cent of the deficiencies found in some suites, ranging from leaking ceilings to backed up toilets, have been fixed and all the problems should be remedied by the end of June.
The city is still facing a lawsuit from 57 condo owners who bought their units earlier and claim the suites are sub-standard and were over-priced compared to what other units are now be offered for.
The project, built to house athletes during the 2010 Winter Games, fell on hard times when the original developer, Millennium Development, couldn't meet its obligations and the city of Vancouver had to take over financing.
Last fall the city called in Ernst and Young as receivers. The city owes $515 million to its own creditors on the project, but has insisted its losses will be much lower when all the units are sold.
City manager Penny Ballem has said the city has written down its losses to $48 million with the losses expected to be absorbed by the city's real-estate holdings arm.
The Ernst and Young report said $57 million in loans made to the development by the city have now been paid down as result of the recent sales.