The City of Vancouver has sold the remaining 67 condo units in the Olympic Village development to the Aquilini Group, the owners of the Vancouver Canucks, for $91 million.
At a news conference at Vancouver City Hall today (April 28), Mayor Gregor Robertson said the city has paid off its $630 million debt from the project.
"Working with the best that Vancouver had to offer in terms of business and legal, construction and development experience advising us, we were able to be patient and make sure that we could bring this deal around and eventually break even," he said.
"So it’s great news. We’re very relieved here at city hall to see this day that many said would never come.”
But the city only made $70 million from the land for which it originally expected to receive $200 million—a price that would have covered the cost of community amenities in the area.
Non-Partisan Association councillor George Affleck argued the mayor and Vision Vancouver can’t take credit for the process of paying off the debt.
“This was done by a receiver and by a real-estate company,” he told reporters. “It’s a process that a receiver takes care of, not the mayor of the city.”
Developer and architect Michael Geller also challenged the mayor’s comments, contending that it’s “improper to suggest taxpayers have not lost one cent on this project”.
“We spent $50 million more than we should have on the social housing units, which the city still owns, because they could not find a nonprofit group to take them over,” he said. "We’ve been losing money on those units."