Vancouver sells Olympic Village condos to Aquilini Group

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."

Comments (10) Add New Comment
DAK
67 units for $91M results in a per-unit price of $1.35M/condo.

I'm not sure how that makes any sense at all. There must be more to the deal than is being reported in this article.
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boris moris
I guess Geller and Affleck think voters are too stupid and uninformed to remember that it was the NPA who got the city into this mess by making a bad deal with Millennium Developments.
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Naturalmystic
Good for Gregor and Vision. Bad for the citizens of Vancouver. What promises were made to the Aquilini family in return for this purchase? How many developments around Roger's arena and the rest of the city will be rubber stamped by Gregor and co for the benefit of the Aqulini's?
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anonymouse 1962
The developments around Rogers Arena have already been approved since construction on one of them has already started. How could you turn the other ones down? Aquilini probably wants to further develop some of the land in the False Creek. They now have 67 votes on Strata!!!
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anonymouse 1962
@Boris moris
Yes NPA is not faultless in this mess but this was part of the Olympic Games and the City of Vancouver had no choice in guaranteeing the whole thing as this was a Olympic Games Venue.
The province should have backstopped the whole thing.
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boris moris
@ anonymouse

NPA not faultless? That's an understatement of epic proportions. Sam "can I get you some crack?" Sullivan and his NPA cohorts on council exercised some stupendously bad judgement in their dealings with Millennium. Vision inherited this mess and have now extricated the city from this fiasco.
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Trudi
City councils don't know how to make good developer deals, never have, never will.
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RealityCheck
I think this deal virtually guarantees the viaducts are coming down.
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it makes me wonder
@ anonymouse 1962
We the citizens of BC should ALL have had a chance to vote .
The Olympics are a party for the rich , paid for by everyone else .
The trickle down effects of 17 days of TV exposure is hardly worth the cost .
Two days after the Olympics are over , they are forgotten about anyways .
Where were the 2012 Olympics ? Don't google it .
The game plan for the Olympics goes like this privatize the profits , socialize the losses .
The smartest citizens are those in Denver who in the 70's voted NO to the Olympics .
Looking back , it didn't hurt Denver .
As for the exposure Vancouver/Whistler received , lets get real . Anyone who could afford to ski at whistler or visit Vancouver knew they existed .
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@it makes me wonder
We live in a period where the decadence of the elites rivals that which caused the French Revolution. The only difference is that our sick-care system keeps the poor alive, drugged, in a stupor so that instead of getting excited and fighty from the malnutrition, they just get sedatives prescribed. And at least during the French Revolution, the aristocrats had the luxury of lack of information---I am sure that many French Aristocrats had no idea about the suffering of the poor. The French Government didn't have decades of statistical data about rising inequality. They didn't have any knowledge of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc. so the bread-and-water diet the poor subsisted on was excusable on the basis of their ignorance.

Today it is obvious that the problem is not a lack of information--the problem is that money is a drug, a drug that enables its addicts to ignore the suffering of others.
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