Business

City of Vancouver sells final Olympic Village units to Aquilini Group

Vancouver
Vancouver's Olympic cauldron, seen here lit during the Games in February, 2010.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons (author YukonExpatriate)

The City of Vancouver is now "officially done" with its Olympic Village, saying it has sold all remaining residential units and paid down the entire $630 million debt it was on the hook for.

In a press release on Monday, the city said it also recovered an additional $70 million. The project's final 67 condo units were snapped up for $91 million by the Aquilini Group.

"The city has shown sound business-like leadership that has made the Olympic Village project an attractive investment and we're pleased to be investing in such a great neighbourhood," said Francesco Aquilini, the Managing Director of the Aquilini Group and the owner of the Vancouver Canucks. "Mayor (Gregor) Robertson and Vancouver City Council have helped finance a vibrant community that is now one of the most popular places to live in Vancouver. The Aquilini Group is pleased we can be part of this neighbourhood."

The condos – in Vancouver's False Creek neighbourhood, on the south side of the water – began selling after the 2010 Winter Olympics, when they were used to house international athletes.

Vancouver Olympic Village

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (author Mathew5000)

Robertson also addressed the sale in the city's release.

"This is a good deal for taxpayers, and pays down the Olympic Village debt that many thought would not happen," he said. "As Mayor, I've been determined to ensure that taxpayers would not be left on the hook for a single cent. I am proud to say we have achieved that goal, and have done so in a way that has created a thriving waterfront neighbourhood.

"It took a lot of work to get to this point, but it's great news for Vancouver taxpayers that we've paid off the Olympic Village debt and recovered an additional $70 million to go towards community amenities and public infrastructure. We are now officially done with our involvement in the project."

The finale sale was completed through the city and the Receiver, Ernst & Young, which took over the sale and management of the Village in 2010.

The City of Vancouver took over the load of the loan from Fortress Credit Corp in 2009.

All 737 condo units were marketed and sold by Rennie Marketing Systems. The city's release praised the Rennie group and Ernst & Young, crediting them with the Village's 100 per cent commercial occupancy and its 94 per cent residential occupancy.

"The City has worked hard to ensure all the debt from the Olympic Village development was fully paid back and that taxpayers are protected," said Kevin Brennan, senior vice president of Ernst & Young.

"The final resolution of this file for the City is a significant achievement, given the extent of the financial risk facing the City in 2009, with the obligation to complete the Athlete's Village for the 2010 Winter Games."

The project was initially developed by Millenium Development Group, and it is North America's first LEED Platinum community, according to the city.

Vancouver Olympic Village

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (author Country wind)

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