Vancouver freed from Olympic-sized debt after Village condo units sold off
A woman, lower left, walks through the Millennium Water development which was the athletes' village during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C., on October 7, 2010. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 28, 2014 5:13PM EDT
VANCOUVER - What threatened to be an Olympic-sized white elephant for the City of Vancouver has instead become a valuable asset.
The city has sold its remaining interest in 67 condominium units in the Olympic Village development for $91 million to the Aquilini Group, the owner of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team.
The False Creek condos were built to house Olympic athletes attending the 2010 Games, but the units didn't sell after the Games, the developer defaulted, a receiver was appointed, and it appeared the city wasn't going to be repaid the millions it had loaned.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says the sale is great news for city taxpayers, noting that not only has the debt been recovered, but an additional $70 million will go towards community amenities and public infrastructure.
Francesco Aquilini, the managing director of Aquilini Group, says the city has shown sound business leadership that has made the Olympic village project an attractive investment and his company is happy to be part of the neighbourhood.
The development, a former industrial site, was recently awarded the 2013 Urban Land Institute award for urban open spaces.