All City’s borrowed funds repaid after City’s interest in Olympic Village sold; Debt paid off
The City of Vancouver has officially paid down the entire $630 million debt of the Olympic Village development, as well as recovered an additional $70 million.
Working with the Receiver, Ernst & Young, the City has sold its remaining interest in the last 67 condominium units in the Olympic Village development to the Vancouver-based Aquilini Group (AG) for $91M. This ends the City’s involvement in the Olympic Village project.
“This is a good deal for taxpayers, and pays down the Olympic Village debt that many thought would not happen,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “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 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, Managing Director of Aquilini Group. “Mayor 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.”
With Wednesday’s agreement between the City and Millenium to appoint Ernst and Young Inc as the receiver for the Olympic Village, the project now has more financial stability, said Mayor Gregor Robertson, which will help mitigate risk for city taxpayers.
“With Ernst and Young Inc in place, the months of uncertainty around the Village are gone and we can move forward with a new, robust marketing plan,” said the Mayor. “The receiver has already met with Bob Rennie and I know both are working hard to move ahead to the next round of sales. The Village is a great asset and an award-winning neighbourhood, and we need to stay focused on the long-term picture.
City council today approved the selection of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC as the operator of the affordable housing at the Olympic Village. The selection means people will begin to move into the housing this winter, and is good news for the Village and the many families and seniors on BC Housing’s waiting list, says the Mayor.
“When the Province rejected the bids for the project, we made it clear that the City would move as swiftly as possible to select an operator to run the affordable housing,” said the Mayor. “After just six weeks of hard work by staff, we now have an operator in place.
Mayor Gregor Robertson outlined again the challenges the City faces with the Olympic Village project today, as well as his expectations for the project moving forward.
“The combination of a soft housing market, the uncertainty with the HST, and a number of poor decisions from the previous council have created several challenges for the Olympic Village,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Since day one we have taken a methodical, business-like approach to bring stability to this project.
A new research and development centre for Canada’s green building technology will be opening in Tianjin, China, through an agreement involving Vancouver Global Green, EnVision Shanghai, and the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City.
The agreement was reached during the Vancouver Green Capital Business Mission in China, during which Mayor Gregor Robertson, Councillor Raymond Louie, and 22 Vancouver businesses are meeting with Chinese businesses and government officials to strengthen business ties between China and Vancouver.